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March 10, 2022

Jussie Smollett sentenced to 150 days in jail, years of probation, $120,106 in restitution and $25,000 fine for faking attack

In this post a few months ago, I asked "Is Jussie Smollett likely to get probation after convictions on five low-level state felony counts of disorderly conduct?".  As this new AP article reports, we now know the answer to this question is "nope." Here are some details:

Jussie Smollett loudly maintained his innocence Thursday after a judge sentenced the former “Empire” actor to 150 days in jail for lying to police about a racist and homophobic attack that he orchestrated himself. Cook County Judge James Linn ordered that Smollett’s county jail sentence begin immediately following the hearing.

Smollett didn’t make a statement when offered the opportunity earlier in the afternoon but maintained that he was innocent after Linn issued his sentencing decision. He also insisted that he was not suicidal, suggesting that “if anything happens” in jail, he did not take his own life....

The judge also sentenced Smollett to 30 months of felony probation and ordered that he pay $120,106 in restitution to the city of Chicago and a $25,000 fine.

Smollett’s dramatic reaction capped an hourslong sentencing hearing. Special prosecutor Dan Webb asked Linn to include “an appropriate amount of prison time” when sentencing the actor for his conviction. Smollett’s attorneys asked the judge to limit the sentence to community service, arguing that he had already been punished by the criminal justice system and damage to his career. Family members echoed those comments....

Several supporters spoke about worries that Smollett would be at risk in prison, specifically mentioning his race, sexual orientation and his family’s Jewish heritage.

Linn said he did consider those requests for mercy, along with Smollett’s prior work and financial support of social justice organizations. But Linn also excoriated Smollett as a narcissist and pronounced himself astounded by his actions given the actor’s multiracial family background and ties to social justice work. “For you now to sit here, convicted of hoaxing, hate crimes ... the hypocrisy is just astounding,” Linn said....

Smollett faced up to three years in prison for each of the five felony counts of disorderly conduct — the charge filed for lying to police — of which he was convicted. He was acquitted on a sixth count. But because Smollett does not have an extensive criminal history and the conviction is for a low-level nonviolent crime, experts did not expect him to be sent to prison.

Thursday’s sentencing could be the final chapter in a criminal case, subject to appeal, that made international headlines when Smollett, who is Black and gay, reported to police that two men wearing ski masks beat him, and hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him on a dark Chicago street and ran off. In December, Smollett was convicted in a trial that included the testimony of two brothers who told jurors Smollett paid them to carry out the attack, gave them money for the ski masks and rope, instructed them to fashion the rope into a noose. Prosecutors said he told them what racist and homophobic slurs to shout, and to yell that Smollett was in “MAGA Country,” a reference to the campaign slogan of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

March 10, 2022 at 09:04 PM | Permalink


Quite the man, Mr. Smollett. If any one individual personifies the race huckstering, identity obsessed, crybully sickness with which our culture is afflicted, Smollett is the guy. I wrote my assessment pretty much at the same time Doug was writing his, https://www.crimeandconsequences.blog/?p=6048

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 10, 2022 9:13:24 PM

Wonder what the sentence would have been with a plea, or at least without doubling down with testimony the jury necessarily concluded was false.

Posted by: Jason | Mar 10, 2022 11:21:18 PM

Jason --

I suspect the sentence would have been considerably less if Smollett had at any point come within shouting distance of telling the truth. But psychologically he can't afford to do that, because he builds his whole persona on being the Aggrieved Minority Victim. That was the reason for the staged "attack," the pointing the finger at "MAGA Country," and continuing the charade all the way through today. When (the Left's) demand for racism exceeds the supply, you just get a guy like Smollett to make it up.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 10, 2022 11:48:19 PM

Juicy would have gotten a much stiffer sentence had I been the judge.

He is a Grade A a-hole.

What is amazing is that Kim Foxx tried to help him out.

Posted by: Federalist | Mar 11, 2022 8:59:58 AM

There is a typo in the headline. The number of probative years is missing.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 11, 2022 11:48:56 AM

30 MONTHS of probation

Posted by: USPO | Mar 11, 2022 4:48:07 PM

I think that at the time it was given, the sentence was about right. Smollett is a nonviolent offender. He did considerable damage. But that damage did not include physical injury to anyone. Therefore, a sentence of months, less than a year, was appropriate.

When Smollett doubled down on his claim of innocence after being sentenced, it became time for a gut check. Am I really certain he is guilty? In this case, the answer is yes. That certainty, combined with his doubling down, and effectively repeating the crime, is a reason to give him a bit more time. Maybe another month.

Posted by: William C Jockusch | Mar 14, 2022 9:01:46 AM

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