[guest post by JVW]
Closing the book (at least until the inevitable appeals are filed) on one of the dumbest stories in the history of celebritydom, the notorious liar Jussie Smollett was sentenced today to five months imprisonment for staging a hate crime against himself over three years ago and then repeatedly lying about it to law enforcement and the court:
After a nearly seven-hour hearing, Judge James Linn sentenced the actor and singer to 150 days in jail and 30 months of probation, and ordered him to pay restitution of just over $120,000 and a $25,000 criminal fine. He could have been sentenced to as much as three years in prison. Immediately after the sentence was read, Smollett repeatedly declared that he was innocent and that he was not suicidal.
“I did not do this. If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it myself,” Smollett said during an emotional outburst. He left the courtroom with his fist raised, continuing to declare his innocence. “I could have said that I was guilty a long time ago.”
Until now, I was not aware that Mr. Smollett had incriminating evidence against Bill and Hillary Clinton, but I wish him well in the hoosegow anyway.
Linn acknowledged the testimony of defense witnesses who described Smollett as a gentle person and a community advocate, dedicated to social justice. But Smollett has a “dark side,” Linn said, that includes extreme arrogance and narcissism.
“You wanted to make yourself more famous, and for a while it worked,” Linn said. “You actually threw a national pity party for yourself.”
Apparently Judge Linn had never before met a Hollywood celebrity. Also unmoored from reality and prone to fanciful conjecture, it would seem, is Mr. Smollett’s defense attorney:
Smollett’s defense lawyer, Nenye Uche, called for probation, arguing that the crimes his client was convicted of — filing false police reports — weren’t violent, and he doesn’t have a felony record. Smollett’s reputation and career already has been harmed, Uche said, and he’s already paid a fine and done community service. He called the charges against Smollett “a misdemeanor dressed up as a felony.” He asked Linn for mercy and said Smollett has suffered enough.
“Why are we jumping up and down acting like this is a murder case. It’s not,” Uche said, arguing that if Smollett were jailed, he could catch Covid-19 and die. “Sending Mr. Smollett to jail is almost like a death sentence. Yes, it is, because anything medically can go wrong.”
Naturally, the perp had his defenders:
Defense mitigation witnesses, including the former Empire music director, described Smollett as a “loving and wonderful young man” who donated time and money to nonprofits. He received letters of support from several people and groups, including the Black Lives Matter organization, actor Samuel L. Jackson, and the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
I’m sure that Samuel L. Jackson’s letter would have been far more effective if he had not addressed the judge as “Mothaf***er” and threatened “great vengeance and furious anger.” Associating with the noted twerp, Shelton “Spike” Lee, probably didn’t lend any credibility to Mr. Jackson’s earnest plea either.
Yes, things being how they are Mr. Smollett will probably be furloughed within 30 days, if he even serves any time at all. But at least the next hate crime hoaxer will know to come up with something more plausible than encountering MAGA guys in Chicago at 3:00 am on a freezing cold night while venturing out for some tasty Subway sandwiches. Godspeed to everyone involved in this abject lunacy, and I sincerely hope I never have to write the name Jussie Smollett again.