Disgraced TV star Jussie Smollett is demanding the court release him from jail with all deliberate speed due to three significant mitigating circumstances.
Smollett, 39, said the conditions inside the Cook County Jail in Chicago are rife with dangers, not just to his personal safety, but also to his health.
The “Empire” actor’s attorneys filed documents in Cook County, Illinois, that were obtained by TMZ that outline the three main reasons for their emergency request.
First, the legal team believes strongly that Smollett may be in danger of great physical harm. They played a cellphone voice message where a man spewed virulent racist and homophobic rhetoric meant for Smollett’s ears and discussed what can happen to him. Smollett’s people believe the cellphone tirade is emblematic of what could lie ahead for the actor as he serves a five-month jail sentence for felony disorderly conduct.
Secondly, his team stated that Smollett is particularly susceptible to contracting the novel coronavirus due to his comorbidities. They also listed the statistics that prove jails and prisons have higher COVID-19 contraction rates as compared to the rest of society.
Smollett’s people also believe that being held in protective custody will exact negative ramifications on his mental well-being because it is tantamount to solitary confinement. The defense lawyers insinuate that Smollett is being punished far out of proportion to the low-level felonies he committed.
Finally, the attorneys argue that Smollett should be granted temporary freedom while he files an appeal after being convicted on five out of six felony charges related to lying to the Chicago Police Department.
What do you think? Should they let Smollett out, at least temporarily?