Jussie Smollett Released From Prison After Six Days

Jussie Smollett Released From Prison After Six Days

Jussie Smollett Released From Prison After Six Days

Well, that didn’t take long. An Illinois appeals court ordered hoaxer Jussie Smollett to be released from prison pending an appeal of his conviction. He had served only six days of his 150-day sentence. So before the sun set on Chicago on Wednesday evening, Jussie had left the Cook County Jail.

You may remember how before he pronounced Smollett’s sentence, Judge James Linn excoriated him for the outrageous hoax he had played on the city of Chicago. For how the actor had claimed that Trump supporters attacked him, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. Linn told Smollett that he was “just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime, and that’s shameful.”

So the Judge ordered him to pay fines and restitution. Then he sentenced him to 30 months felony probation, with the first 150 days to be spent immediately in Cook County jail. Court watchers were guessing that Jussie would walk after half that time.

Jussie/prison

Credit: tenor.com. 

Smollett threw a tantrum as he left the courtroom.

 

Jussie and the Art of the Deal

But on Wednesday evening, an Illinois appellate court agreed with Smollett’s attorneys that he should be free from prison pending appeal of his conviction. The attorneys had argued that Jussie would have completed his 150-day sentence by the time his appeal made it to court. Plus, he would be in danger by remaining in Cook County jail, they said.

According to the attorneys, Jussie’s life was at risk because of “vicious threats” on social media. Plus, they added that one of his siblings had received a disturbing anonymous phone call. The attorneys presented a recording as evidence, even though they provided no proof of its authenticity:

“I hope what they do to that guy in jail — here’s what they’re going to do, right. They’re going to take a broom handle, and take that little [expletive], shove it in there, and he’s gonna go, ‘[shrieking sound].”

So the appeals court agreed. What’s more, Jussie only had to post a personal recognizance bond of $150K, which means that he didn’t even have to put money down. He just needs to agree to return to court.

 

So How Dangerous Was Prison Anyway?

I certainly wouldn’t want to stay in the Cook County jail, but it seems like it was hardly the danger that his attorneys claimed.

Smollett had a private cell with direct observation at all times. According to a written statement by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Jussie was granted “substantial time out of his cell in the common areas on the tier where he is housed.” During those times he could use the phone and watch TV. Moreover, when he was out of his cell, other prisoners would not be in the common areas. So it looks like the risk of Jussie becoming Bubba’s wife was remote — despite the recording his attorneys presented to the appeals court.

 

Why Did Jussie Get to Walk Free?

Forget the hysterical claims of Smollett’s attorneys that his life was in danger. There’s more behind his release than meets the eye.

A legal analyst at CBS Chicago explained that it was likely because Jussie didn’t have a criminal history.

Over at Red State, writer Bonchie surmised that the release was simply a case of Jussie having privilege. Yes, privilege:

“On a broader note, we are witnessing the most consistent bias in our legal system. It’s not race-based, but class-based. If you have the money and stature to pressure a court with the best lawyers and lots of bad press, you have a much higher chance of receiving favorable treatment.”

While Kemberlee Kaye at Legal Insurrection simply asked:

“Talk about privilege, amiright?”

 

The Chicago Way Strikes Again

Remember how State’s Attorney Kim Foxx initially dropped the charges against Jussie Smollett? Later a judge appointed a special prosecutor to re-investigate. Chicago writer John Kass wrote how Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and her protegé Foxx were outraged when that happened.

And then Jussie Smollett went to jail.

As Kass wrote:

“But Boss Toni controls the jail, the judges and the prosecutor’s office.”

So did Preckwinkle pressure the Illinois appellate court in Chicago? Are you smelling a skunk here? Yeah, me too.

As Twitter user Miles Commodore tweeted upon Smollett’s release:

“Jussie Smollett wasn’t spared from jail time because he’s black. I’m black and if I pulled this stunt, trust me I would be in prison. This is about being connected to the elite democrats in the most corrupt city in the history of the United States run by democrats.”

Miles Commodore nailed it: nothing in Chicago happens without political machinations. After all, it’s the Chicago Way.

 

Featured image: Dominick D/flickr/cropped/CC BY-SA 2.0.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

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