Written by: Khalif Thompson
Jussie Smollett, the former Empire actor, was allegedly sentenced to 150 days in jail on Thursday (March 10) for faking a hate crime.
According to our sources, he maintained his innocence until he was taken away from the Cook County courthouse to begin his five-month sentence.
Social media went into an uproar after a video of Smollett surfaced of him hollering at the judge that “I did not do this,” Smollett said. “I am innocent. If I did this then it means that I stuck my fist in the fears of Black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBTQ community. And if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself. And you must all know that.”
People felt uneasy about these comments and genuinely concerned for his well-being, mentioning that Smollett may be in grave danger and that if something happens to him while in jail that this is his warning to us.
Others are quite frankly tired of the heavy reporting of Smollett and wish he serves his sentence in silence.
Smollett will most likely end up spending only half of his 150-day sentence. His prison sentence qualifies for "day-for-day" credit for good behavior. He will then be obliged to complete the remainder of his 30-month probation term. Smollett was also fined $25,000 and forced to pay the city of Chicago $120,000 in reparations.
When combined with the $10,000 bail Smollett agreed to forfeit when he reached his arrangement with the Cook County State's Attorney's office in 2019, he would have paid about $130,000 to repay the expenses the city spent on police overtime during the alleged crime's investigation.
However, the most remembered words in this case was of the presiding Judge James Linn publicly expressing his dismay of the choices of Jussie Smollett.
“You’ve destroyed your life as you knew it,” Judge James Linn told him. “There is nothing any sentencing judge could do compared to the damage you’ve already done … Your very name is a verb for lying. I can’t imagine anything worse than that.”
During the hearing, Smollett's attorneys identified 13 "critical errors" that require the guilty conviction to be revoked. Tina Glandian, the defense attorney, argued that the fact that he was charged twice should have resulted in the verdict being reversed.
Glandian also said that prosecutors reached an "immunity-type arrangement" when they chose to dismiss all charges against Smollett mere weeks after he was arrested. Charges were dropped in return for 15 hours of community service and a $10,000 payment under their agreement. "He was promised not to be called back into court," she added, "but that is exactly what happened."
In December 2021, Jussie Smollett was found guilty of five counts of disorderly conduct for claiming he was the victim of a hate crime in January 2019. After turning himself in to authorities, Smollett was jailed a month later for felony disorderly conduct.