According to TMZ, Jussie Smollett, who received a 150-day jail sentence last week, told his defense team before his sentence was meted out that he would get a more severe sentence because he is black.
“Sources with direct knowledge and in constant touch with the “Empire” actor tell TMZ … Jussie fully expected to get jail time,” TMZ reported. “He told his defense team before sentencing he felt he would be treated more harshly than other defendants convicted of a non-violent crime … all because of the color of his skin. He thinks it’s more evidence of systemic racism in the judicial system.”
“Convicted felon Jussie Smollett, who is currently serving a five-month prison term for falsely claiming to police that he was the victim of a hate crime hoax that he staged, had messages appear on his Instagram account on Saturday proclaiming his innocence and stating that he should be let out of prison even if people don’t think he’s innocent,” The Daily Wire reported on Saturday.
Last December, Smollett was convicted by a jury on five counts of felony disorderly conduct for making false reports over a January 2019 incident in which the actor claimed to be the victim of a hate crime, as The Daily Wire reported, adding, “He told police that two men attacked him just after 2 a.m. outside of a Subway, tossing a noose around his neck and throwing an unknown substance on him. The two men were later identified as acquaintances of Smollett and said the actor had paid them to stage the hoax attack.”
The Associated Press highlighted the history of Smollett’s journey toward jail:
- “Feb. 16, 2019: Police say the investigation has “shifted” after detectives questioned the brothers, and request a follow-up interview with Smollett. His lawyers say he feels ‘victimized’ by reports that he played a role in the assault.
- Feb. 17, 2019: Chicago police reach out to Smollett’s attorney saying they still want to interview him again because new information has “shifted” their investigation.
- Feb. 19, 2019: Chicago’s top prosecutor, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, recuses herself from the investigation. Her office says the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution … to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case.”
- Feb. 20, 2019: Prosecutors charge Smollett with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report about the alleged attack…
- March 7, 2019: A Cook County grand jury returns a 16-count indictment charging Smollett with falsely reporting an offense.
- March 26, 2019: Smollett’s attorneys say charges alleging he lied to police have been dropped.
- March 28, 2019: A city official says Chicago is seeking $130,000 from Smollett to cover the cost of the investigation into his reported beating, which police say was staged…
- Aug. 23, 2019: Judge names former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb as special prosecutor to investigate why charges against Smollett were dropped.
- Feb. 11, 2020: Webb says grand jury returns six-count indictment against Smollett, accusing him of lying to police…
- Dec. 9, 2021: A jury convicts Smollett on five counts of disorderly conduct, and acquits him on a sixth count.
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