Jussie Smollett is headed back to jail

December 2, 2023

Jussie Smollett is heading back to jail, according to the New York Post

Smollett, of course, is the actor who has been accused of staging the hate crime that he, himself, claimed to be the victim of.

"Smollett, who is Black and gay, reported to Chicago police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack by two men wearing ski masks in January 2019," Fox News reports.

The outlet adds, "The manhunt for the attackers soon turned into an investigation of Smollett and his subsequent arrest on charges he’d orchestrated the attack and lied to police about it."

Smollett's bid to avoid prison

In 2021, after a two-week trial, a jury convicted Smollett of five out of six disorderly conduct charges regarding the January 2019 incident described above.

Smollett, nonetheless, maintained his innocence. During sentencing, he told the court, "I did not do this, and I am not suicidal, and if anything happens to me when I go there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that."

Despite Smollett's plea, however, the court sentenced him to 150 days in jail and 30 months of felony probation. It also ordered him to pay over $120,000 in restitution for the city of Chicago and to pay $25,000 in fines.

Smollett's first day in prison was March 10, 2022. But, after serving for less than a week, he was released.

He was released because he appealed his ruling. The court decided that, while the appeal is pending, Smollett can remain free.

Why is Smollett headed back to jail?

Smollett has now lost the first leg of his appeal. The Post reports that the Illinois Appellate Court, in a 2-1 opinion, upheld Smollett's disorderly conduct convictions.

This means that Smollett has to serve the remainder of his 150 prison sentence.

But, Smollett has now appealed the matter to the Illinois Supreme Court. So, it appears that Smollett, for the time being, will remain free until this court rules on the case.

Smollett's representative has put out a statement, saying, "We wish to highlight that the decision was divided, with Justice Lyle offering a detailed analysis in favor of Smollett. We are preparing to escalate this matter to the Supreme Court, armed with a substantial body of evidence."

The prosecution, however, is expecting Smollett's conviction to be upheld. Prosecutor Dan. Webb said:

As the appellate court noted, Mr. Smollett "challenge[d] virtually every aspect of’ the prosecution, and the appellate court correctly rejected each and every one of those challenges." Today’s decision is a validation of Winston & Strawn’s tireless work on this matter and a resounding victory for justice. We are proud to have prevailed in a case that, we believe, can help restore the public’s confidence in the Cook County justice system.

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