Jussie Smollett released from jail pending conviction appeal

by Mike Creef, Staff Writer
Jussie Smollett released from jail pending conviction appeal
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Jussie Smollett was released from jail Wednesday night pending an appeal of his conviction of making a false report to police.

The former “Empire” actor was sentenced last Thursday to 30 months of felony probation, including 150 days in jail, and ordered to pay restitution of more than $120,000 and a $25,000 fine by Cook County Circuit Judge James Linn.

The Illinois appeals court ruled Wednesday that Smollett “shall be released from custody upon posting of a personal recognizance bond in the amount of $150,000.”

Typically, a personal recognizance bond means that a person is released from custody on the condition that they will show up to all future court proceedings, usually without having to pay any money.

A judge found that because Smollett had been convicted of “non-violent” offenses, the court would allow him to be released from jail during the appeal process and the appellate court would not be able to hear and rule on his appeal before his sentence was up.

Jussie Smollett’s Emergency Appeal

After his sentencing, Smollett’s legal team filed an emergency appeal arguing that he would be “irreparably harmed” if he spends any time at Cook County Jail. 

His attorneys also stated that exposure to Covid-19 is a serious risk since Smollett is immunocompromised.

Two appellate justices ruled that Jussie Smollett should be released, while one justice on the panel dissented and said Smollett should stay in jail.

Special prosecutor Dan Webb opposed his release, claiming there was “no emergency that warrants the extraordinary relief of staying” the sentence.

No date for his appeal has been set yet.

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