Jussie Smollett’s time in prison has already been filled with controversy. The former “Empire” star was sentenced to 150 days in jail for faking a hate crime against himself. Since then, he has been under psychiatric care while incarcerated. Now, his defense team is making moves for his immediate release.
TMZ reported that Smollett’s team of lawyers has filed an emergency motion asking the judge in his case to release the actor immediately while his appeal is pending. They argue that COVID-19 and the risk of physical harm in jail could keep him from ever being able to complete the legal process. Every second he is behind bars, they say, is a massive risk to Jussie Smollett’s health.
The legal team noted that Jussie’s family has been receiving harassing messages and phone calls aimed at the troubled star. They believe this indicates that Smollett could become a target for a prisoner looking to make a name for himself. Smollett also believes he is being held for racist reasons.
A doctor also submitted an affidavit claiming that Jussie Smollett is prone to catching COVID due to a compromised immune system. Case rates have been particularly high in jail. Dying from the virus would preclude Jussie from receiving due legal process.
Those points might not be enough to convince the judge to let Jussie Smollett go free. The defense team has argued that their client shouldn’t be in jail to begin with. Things continue to evolve in this extraordinarily strange case.
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