The appeals court order, entered on Wednesday, says Smollett “will be released from custody … upon publication of a personal pledge (I Bond) of $150,000.”
Smollett’s defense filed an emergency motion last week arguing he would suffer “irreparable harm” if he served a sentence with convictions that could be reversed, adding that he would likely serve his prison term before finalizing his appeal.
The lawyers added that exposure to Covid-19 posed a serious risk because Smollett was immunocompromised.
The court agreed to the lawyers’ request to postpone the sentence and give him a guarantee until his conviction appeal is adjudicated, arguing that he “will not be able to rule on the immediate appeal before the defendant has served the full term of his prison sentence.”
In their response filed on Wednesday, prosecutors strongly disagreed with the defense’s reasoning, arguing that “there is no emergency calling for an exceptional mitigation” to delay Smollett’s sentence while he awaits his appeal.
“Mr. Smollett asserts that he is entitled to residency because he will likely serve his short prison sentence of 150 days before his appeal on the merits is decided,” part of the response read. “According to this logic, every defendant who has been sentenced to less than a few years in prison will automatically receive a stay pending appeal.”
Smollett had exploded in court last week
Smollett maintained his innocence under oath during his trial.
But during his sentencing last week, Cook County District Judge James Lynn told Smollett, “You are not a victim of a racist hate crime, you are not a victim of a homophobic crime. You are just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime.”
The judge spoke for more than half an hour during the trial, telling the actor that while many people emphasized Smollett and his character and asked the judge for a reduced sentence, Smollett’s premeditation in the act he orchestrated was an “aggravating factor” in the case.
“You have a great record of real community service,” the judge said Thursday. “I am aware of the pleas for mercy, especially from the people in the arena.” But the judge eventually said that the act showed Smollett’s “dark side.”
After his sentence was announced, Smollett addressed the judge saying ‘I didn’t do this’ before he went to court and shouted that he was not suicidal, and that ‘if anything happened to me when I went there, I didn’t do it myself and you should all know it’ “.
On Friday, the actor was being held “in his own cell, which is monitored by the cell’s surveillance cameras and by an officer wearing a body camera and stationed at the entrance to the cell to ensure that Mr. Smollett is under direct observation.” The Cook County Sheriff’s Office said “at all times,” stressing that The actor was not held in solitary confinement.
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