Smollett has already been released from Cook County Jail in accordance with an Illinois Appellate Court’s decision to shorten the ex Empire star’s 150-day sentence.
Smollett was quiet as he left the Chicago facility, surrounded by representatives of his defense team, supporters, and family members. Nenye Uche, the defense counsel, informed the assembled reporters that his client had just drank water for the preceding six days and had not eaten anything.
The Illinois Appellate Court approved the former Empire actor’s plea for a stay of the sentence in a one-page order issued today in a 2-1 decision. The defense team attempted to release Smollett free while his appeal on five felony charges was ongoing but was denied by the sentencing court last week.
The Appellate Court judge agreed, emphasizing the fact that Smollett would have likely served his jail time before his case had progressed very far. The actor has been convicted on non-violent charges, according to the order, which is an evident issue. In fact, the only requirement in the papers was that Smollett posts a $150,000 personal recognizance bail, said report.
Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in prison on March 10 as part of a bigger sentence of 30 months probation after being convicted on December 9, 2020, for the widely publicized January 2019 so-called MAGA attack. In addition to the $25,000 fine, he was ordered to pay $120,106 in restitution to the city of Chicago for police overtime spent on his initial case. The fines and probation are still in effect, but Smollett is free to travel outside of Chicago and check in with authorities remotely.
Smollett rose up at the defense table last week, right before being led away by deputies, after a clearly enraged Judge James Linn handed down the sentence and exclaimed, “I am not suicidal!”
He was held in protective custody while his sibling Jurnee Smollett, Taraji P. Henson, and others pleaded for his release. Smollett was later taken to the psychiatric hospital, as reported by his brother on social media, under armed guard observation and cameras.