Actor Jussie Smollett is a free man, for now. An Illinois appeals court ordered Smollett be released after spending six days of his 150 day sentence in a private cell in the Cook County jail.
Smollett is a free man this morning while he appeals his conviction for lying to police about a racist and homophobic attack, stating that Smollett’s offense was non-violent. He had himself beat up.
Upon his early release, Smollett was silent as he was ushered into a waiting SUV.
His lawyers saying the actor broke down when they told him he could go home adding, “I think he had nearly given up.”
His lawyer says Smollett had not eaten anything for 6 days, only drinking water.
They argued he faced possible physical harm if he remained behind bars.
The sheriff’s office says Smollett was kept in a private cell with security cameras and an officer stationed at the entrance.
Smollett was just sentenced to five months behind bars after being convicted of staging a hate crime for publicity, falsely reporting to police that he was the victim of an anti-black and anti-gay attack in 2019.
Smollett’s appeal centers around the concept of double jeopardy.
His lawyers argue he already paid a fine and served community service under a previous deal before he was re-indicted.
But prosecutors argue the fine and community service were part of a voluntary agreement and should not qualify as punishment.