Supporters of Jussie Smollett are hoping they can help him get some leniency in his upcoming sentencing. According to Fox 32, Rev. Jesse Jackson, the president of the NAACP, and the director of Black Lives Matter sent letters to Judge Linn requesting that the actor be punished with probation rather than actual time behind bars.
In the letters, Smollett’s community service efforts were mentioned. The supporters also noted that his conviction was related to a nonviolent crime. They mentioned that the actor was already being punished as the case played out publicly, which has led to constant posts about him and his situation. Another notable argument was their concerns for his safety in prison as he is a gay Black man with Jewish heritage.
Questions regarding whether Linn has considered the request for leniency in Smollett’s sentencing will soon be answered. He is scheduled to appear in court today (March 10), where he will finally learn his fate.
As REVOLT previously reported, the Empire actor was found guilty on five of six counts of felony disorderly conduct on suspicion of making false reports to the police. The conviction was related to the 2019 incident in which he alleged that he was attacked and assaulted by two men, who Smollett says drenched him with bleach, placed a noose around a neck and yelled “This is MAGA country” as well as some racist and homophobic slurs.
Amid the trial, prosecutors alleged that Smollett paid them and gave them specific instructions on where and how to carry on the attack. The singer, however, maintained his innocence and held on to his claim that the attack was real.
During the sentencing hearing, both sides will be given the opportunity to present witnesses. Smollett will also be allowed to make a statement. If he chooses to, it will be the first time the public sees and hears the actor speak in court regarding the case, considering Linn has permitted access to photographers and media who want to be in the courtroom.