Jussie Smollett will be released from jail pending an appeal of his conviction, court rules

The order, entered on Wednesday, says Smollett “shall be released from custody … upon posting of a personal recognizance bond (I Bond) in the amount of $150,000.” The court granted a motion made by Smollett’s attorneys to delay his sentence and grant him bond until their appeal of his conviction has been decided on.

Part of the reasoning listed in the order is that the court found it would be “unable to dispose of the instant appeal before the defendant would have served his entire sentence of incarceration.”

Smollett was sentenced last week 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 for making false reports to police that he was the victim of a hate crime in January 2019.

“You’re not a victim of a racial hate crime, you’re not a victim of a homophobic hate crime. You’re just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime, and that’s shameful,” Cook County Judge James Linn told the former “Empire” actor during the sentencing.

Jussie Smollett will be released from jail pending an appeal of his conviction, court rules

The judge spoke for more than half an hour during the sentencing, telling the actor that while many people vouched for Smollett and his character and asked the judge for a lenient sentence, Smollett’s premeditation in the act he orchestrated was an “aggravating factor” in the case.

“You do have quite a record of real community service,” the judge said Thursday. “I’m mindful of pleas of mercy, particularly from people that are in the arena.” But, ultimately, the judge said, this act showed Smollett’s “dark side.”

Following the announcement of his sentence, Smollett addressed the judge, saying “I did not do this,” before turning to the court and exclaiming he was not suicidal, and that “if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself. And you must all know that.”

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