Jussie Smollett released from jail; appeal still pending

CHICAGO – Josie Smolett was released from Cook County Jail on Wednesday after an appeals court agreed with his lawyers that he should be released pending an appeal of his conviction for lying to police about a racist and homophobic attack.

The sentence comes from a 2019 incident in which the black and gay actor told Chicago police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.

An investigation has revealed that Smollett paid two men he knew from work on the TV show “Empire” to organize the attack. The special prosecutor’s office had opposed the proposal, calling it absurd.

The video presented is from a previous report.

The court of appeals said that Smollett could be released after submitting a personal identification guarantee of $ 150,000.

Smollett’s attorneys had argued that he would have completed his sentence by the end of the appeals process and that Smollett could have risked bodily harm if he remained in Cook County Jail.

The court ruling marks the last chapter of a bizarre story that began in January 2019 when Smollett, who is black and gay, told Chicago police he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack by two men wearing ski masks. The manhunt for the perpetrators soon turned into an investigation into Smollett himself and his arrest on charges of orchestrating the attack and lying to police about it.

The investigation revealed that Smollett paid two men he knew from work on the TV show “Empire” to organize the attack.

A court convicted Smollett in December of five counts of disorderly conduct – the charge filed when a man lies to police. He was acquitted of the sixth charge. Judge James Linn last week sentenced Smollett to 150 days in prison, but with good conduct he could be released in just 75 days.

Smollett maintained his innocence during the trial. During the sentencing he shouted at the judge that he was innocent, warning the judge that he was not committing suicide and that if he died in custody, someone else would have taken his life and not him.

CLOCKS Jussie Smollett’s emotional outburst in court

In an interview with the Associated Press, David Erickson, a former state attorney who teaches at Kent Law College in Chicago, explained what happens at an appeals hearing.

First, the court must hear Special Prosecutor Dan Webb. Webb was given until Wednesday to respond to a motion filed by Smolett’s legal team, led by lawyer Nene Uche. When that happens, the appeal will go to a court.

That one justice, Erickson said, could end things there.

“If one judge rejects the motion, that’s it,” Erickson said. “It means the court is not going to hear it.”

It also means that lawyers will receive nothing but a brief and strong notice that the proposal has been rejected. Probably no reason or statement will be given.

Nor will the lawyers stand before the judge and present their case. The only thing the judge will use is the papers submitted by the lawyers.

But this first justice can continue things, if it believes that the move has some validity. The court then referred the matter to two other judges for reconsideration. Judges could summon lawyers to make oral arguments, but they can also simply rely on documents submitted by lawyers.

Two of the three judges must agree to accept the motion. If they do, lawyers will be notified that the proposal has been accepted. This time, Erickson said, they will explain their reasoning.

If that happens, the appellate court may order Smollett’s bond or send the case back to Linn to determine the bond. And with that, Smollett can get out of jail.

Which arguments will affect justice is, of course, unclear. But Erickson said what is clear is that the argument that Smollett will complete his sentence before his appeal is decided is not fundamental.

“This is not a legal argument and the appellate court is limited to examining only legal errors,” he said, adding that while moves such as those made by Smollett’s legal team are common, they are not often accepted.

Erickson said that the fact that the judge spoke for much more than half an hour about Smolett’s conviction suggests that he expected the sentence to be appealed.

“The model they (Smollett’s lawyers) have to show is whether or not the judge abused his discretion in his sentence,” he said. Speaking as much as he did and stating his reasoning as specifically as he did, “He (Lynn) was going to make sure that (the court of appeals) understood why he did what he did and that he did not abuse his discretion. “

A rejection can come in a few hours or a day and if the judges want to hear more it may take a few days or maybe a week to reach a decision. But Erickson said these things are usually decided very quickly.

“They could (rule) immediately or overnight or (in) a week,” Erickson said.

Copyright © 2022 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Jussie Smollett released from jail; appeal still pending Source link Jussie Smollett released from jail; appeal still pending

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