/  03.14.2022

Taraji P. Henson has taken issue with the sentencing of her “Empire” costar Jussie Smollett. On Sunday (March 13), the actress took to Instagram to express her dissent while highlighting the duplicities of the legal system with an Emmett Till reference.

“I am not here to debate you on his innocence but we can agree that the punishment does not fit the crime,” the Oscar-nominated star wrote alongside an image of the hashtag #FreeJussie. “Emmett Till was brutally beat and ultimately murdered because of a lie and none of the people involved with his demise spent one day in jail, even after Carolyn Bryant admitted that her claims were false. No one was hurt or killed during Jussie’s ordeal. He has already lost everything, EVERYTHING!”

According to Henson, Smollett’s already being penalized as the case — which played out in public — has resulted in a tarnished reputation and lack of employment opportunities in Hollywood.

“To me as an artist not able to create that in itself is punishment enough,” she continued. “He can’t get a job. No one in Hollywood will hire him and again as an artist who loves to create, that is prison. My prayer is that he is freed and put on house arrest and probation because in this case that would seem fair.”

As REVOLT previously reported, Smollett was ordered to pay $120,000 + restitution and a $25,000 fine for making false reports about his involvement in a hate crime. He was also sentenced to  30 months probation, which includes 150 days in Cook County Jail, and has since been placed in a psychiatric ward following some mix-ups with paperwork.

“What’s very concerning is that there was a note attached to the paperwork today, and it said on the front of his jail cell … that he is at risk of self-harm,” his brother Jocqui Smollett revealed on Instagram.

“I want to just make it clear to folks that he is in no way shape or form at risk to self-harm, and he wants to let folks know that, that he is very stable, he is very strong, he is very healthy and ready to take on the challenge that ultimately has been put up against him,” he continued, echoing Smollett’s previous claim that he’s “not suicidal.” “This is not right. This is a complete lack of justice. It’s angering, it’s an outrage.”

See the aforementioned Instagram posts from Taraji P. Henson and Jocqui Smollett below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by taraji p henson (@tarajiphenson)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @jussiesmollett

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