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Jussie Smollett was sentenced Thursday (March 10), to 150 days in jail after being found guilty of lying to Chicago police about an alleged hate crime. The actor was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $120,000 and a $25,000 fine and will be on felony probation for 30 months. According to the Associated Press, Cook County Judge James Linn declined a request to suspend Smollett’s sentence. The 39-year-old was immediately taken into custody.
“I am innocent. I could have said I am guilty a long time ago,” shouted Smollett as he was taken out of the hearing.
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Additionally, he repeatedly declared, “I am not suicidal!” after expressing, “If anything happens to me when I go in there I did not do it to myself,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
During the sentencing hearing, Smollett’s attorney Nenye Uche argued that placing the former Empire star behind bars was “overkill.” He added, “We send Mr. Smollett, he dies of COVID, and for what, a low-level class 4 offense?”
Last month, Smollett and his legal team requested his conviction be overturned or a new trial, claiming his constitutional rights were violated in the original. An 83-page document alleged the court “made numerous trial errors leading up to the trial and during the pendency of the trial.”
In December 2021, Smollet was convicted of five counts of felony disorderly conduct for making false reports to police related to an alleged homophobic and racist attack he claimed took place in January 2019. The jury deliberated for two days before reaching a decision.