Jussie Smollett's lawyers appeal 150-day jail sentence for infamous hate crime hoax

Smollett served six days out of the 150-day sentence in March 2022 and was released pending his appeal.

Joshua Young North Carolina

On Wednesday, attorneys for Jussie Smollett, the disgraced actor who invented a hate crime hoax and was later convicted for lying to Chicago police, filed an appeal of their client's December 2021 conviction in hopes of keeping Smollett from serving the remaining portion of his 150-day jail sentence.

Variety reports, Smollett served six days out of the 150-day sentence in March 2022 and was released pending his appeal, which was due for filing by his lawyers back in August 2022. Smollett's attorneys filed and were granted five extensions through February 2023.

In January of 2019, Smollett, who self-identifies as an actor, director, writer, and producer, called the police to his Chicago hotel and claimed that he'd been the victim of a hate crime. At the time he said two white men had assaulted him after he went out in the middle of the night to grab a Subway sandwich. Smollett said the men wrapped a noose around his neck, poured an unknown substance on him, and yelled racist and homophobic slurs and that the Democrat-controlled city of Chicago was "MAGA Country."

Police noted discrepancies in Smollett's story, including the unmolested Subway sub and after investigation, it was revealed he'd paid two Nigerian brothers he knew from the gym to help him stage the hoax.

He paid them $3,500 in the form of a personal check.

Smollett maintained his innocence, even after he was found guilty of five out of six counts of disorderly conduct related to lying to the police in December 2021. 

James Linn, the trial judge, said that Smollett was a "charlatan" who acted "profoundly arrogant and selfish and narcissistic."

Smollett's response to the verdict included declarations that he was "not suicidal" and "If I did this, it means that I stuck my fist in the fears of black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBTQ."

Smollett’s lawyers say in their appeal that Judge Linn made "reversible errors, that the 150-day sentence is excessive, and that the entire prosecution should have been disallowed," reports Variety. Their appeal also claims the judge adopted a "personal retributive tone."

Part of Smollett's sentence made him pay a $25,000 fine and $120,000 in restitution to the Chicago Police Department to cover the wasted expenses they used while investigating his initial claim. "The defense argues that Illinois law does not allow the police department to be considered a 'victim,' and that therefore the restitution order should be overturned," reports Variety.


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