Samuel L Jackson and Alfre Woodard were among the celebrities who spoke out in support of Jussie Smollett ahead of his sentencing on Thursday.
He, the 39-year-old Empire star, was sentenced to 150 days in prison for “selfishness, arrogance and narcissism” for staging a hate crime hoax that the judge said had “ruined his life”. ” and designed solely to satisfy his “craving”. attention.
Smollett was accused by masked MAGA supporters of lying to city police about a racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago early on January 29, 2019.
Shortly before sentencing, the court heard from Jackson and his wife LaTanya Richardson Jackson’s witness in the form of a letter they wrote to Judge James B Linn.
Their letter asks Judge Linn to have mercy on the actor and find an alternative to jailing him.
A letter from Woodard was also read during Thursday’s hearing at Leighton Criminal Court in Chicago.
“It is out of respect to know this that I humbly beg you to find an alternative to the detention of Jussie Smollett,” the couple wrote in the letter.
“I understand that Jussie has been convicted of category 4 disorderly conduct, and to my knowledge people convicted of this crime have historically been sentenced to various forms of detention.”
In the letter, Jackson verified Smollett and said he was “from a good family”.
The letter said: “We often broke bread with this young man when we discussed how to live right and wrong.
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“Jussie comes from a good family that we are proud to know so close and the people we know are always ready to provide the support and supervisory support they can provide him in a probation situation. to replace.”
The Avengers: Endgame actor told the judge he thought Smollett had had enough.
“Jussie has suffered a great deal of punishment, as this situation has destroyed his existing career and damaged his reputation,” Jackson and his wife wrote.
“May Judge Linn, in the name of God, save this young man and allow him to serve. Jussie Smollett is worth the risk and the investment. ”
In addition to being sentenced to 150 days in prison, Smollett was given 30 months’ probation and ordered to pay $120,106 (£91,700) in restitution and $25,000 (£19,000) in fines.
After the sentencing was delivered, Smollett was moved to a standstill and repeatedly said, “I’m not suicidal, I’m not suicidal.”
He continued: “If I do this, it means that I have tightened my grip on the fear of black Americans in this country of over 400 years and the fear of the LGBTQ community.
“Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I didn’t do this, and I didn’t commit suicide, and if anything happened to me when I got in there, I wouldn’t have done it. do it to myself, and you must all know it,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/samuel-l-jackson-leads-pleas-for-clemency-for-jussie-smollett-at-sentencing-for-faking-attack-41434953.html Samuel L Jackson makes plea for clemency for Jussie Smollett at sentencing for forgery assault