Jussie Smollett released from jail pending appeal: ‘Unconstitutional to charge someone twice,’ lawyer says

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Jussie Smollett was released from jail Wednesday after a court gave the okay due to his pending conviction appeal.

Smollett was seen getting into an SUV after he was released from Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois. 

Earlier Wednesday, a court ordered the release of Smollett from jail on bond as the appeal of his conviction is pending.

Smollett was recently sentenced to 150 days in jail after he was convicted of lying to Chicago police about being the victim of a hate crime back in 2019. The “Empire” actor was convicted on five felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police.

On Wednesday, the appeals court, in a 2-1 decision, said Smollett could be released after posting a personal recognizance bond of $150,000, meaning he doesn’t have to put down money but agrees to come to court as required. 

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Following his release, Smollett’s attorney Nenye Uche held a press conference, stating that the family is “very, very happy.” “It is unconstitutional to charge someone twice,” Uche said, stating that Smollett had initially paid a $10,000 fine and did community service. “

“Some people might think Mr. Smolllett is guilty, but I disagree,” Uche added. “The judge spent a great deal of time chastising and berating my client … Not happy with that… I’m not playing politics.”

On top of 150 days in jail, Smollett was also given 30 months felony probation, restitution to the city of Chicago in the amount of $120,106 and a fine of $25,000.

During his sentencing, Smollett maintained his innocence.

“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,” Smollett said during the sentencing hearing.

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“Your honor, I respect you, and I respect your decision, but I did not do this, and I am not suicidal. If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that.”

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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