Samuel L. Jackson and Alfre Woodard were among celebrities who expressed their support for Jussie Smollett ahead of his sentencing Thursday (March 10).
The 39 year old rich star was sentenced to 150 days in jail for “selfish, arrogant and narcissistic” orchestrating a hate crime hoax that the judge said “ruined his life” and was intended solely to satisfy his “craving” for attention to satisfy.
Smollett was accused of lying to city police about a racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago in the early hours of January 29, 2019 by masked MAGA supporters.
Immediately prior to his sentencing, the court heard character witnesses from Jackson and his wife, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, in a letter they wrote to Judge James B. Linn.
Her letter urged Judge Linn to take pity on the actor and find an alternative to his imprisonment.
A letter from Woodard was also read during Thursday’s hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago.
“Out of respect for that knowledge, I humbly beg you to please find an alternative to incarceration for Jussie Smollett,” the couple wrote in the letter.
“As far as I know, Jussie was convicted of Class 4 disorderly conduct, which I understand has put people convicted of this offense at various alternatives to imprisonment.”
In the letter, Jackson vouched for Smollett and said he “comes from a good family.”
“We often broke bread with this young man as we discussed right and wrong ways of living,” the letter reads.
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“Jussie comes from a good family who we are proud to know and know to be willing to give him all the support and monitoring help they can in an alternative parole scenario.”
the Avengers: Endgame The actor told the judge that he felt Smollett had suffered enough already.
“Jussie has already endured a great deal of punishment as this situation ruined his existing career and threatened his reputation,” Jackson and his wife wrote.
“Please, Judge Linn, in God’s name, please rescue this young man and put him to his service. Jussie Smollett is worth the risk and investment.”
As well as being sentenced to 150 days in prison, Smollett received a 30-month suspended sentence and was ordered to pay $120,106 (£91,700) in restitution and a $25,000 (£19,000) fine.
After the verdict was passed, an emotional Smollett stood up and said repeatedly, “I’m not suicidal, I’m not suicidal.”
He continued, “If I’ve done that, it means I’ve stuck my fist into the fears of Black Americans in this country and the fears of the LGBTQ community for over 400 years.”
“Your Honor I respect you and I respect the jury but I didn’t do that and I’m not suicidal and if anything happens to me going in there I didn’t do it to myself and you all have to do it know that,” he said.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/samuel-l-jackson-jussie-smollett-sentencing-b2033513.html Samuel L Jackson leads pleas for clemency for Jussie Smollett in fake assault conviction