Jussie Smollett’s legal team offered his compromised immune system and harassment to his family as additional justification for release.
Jussie Smollett is at risk of being harmed in prison and must be released immediately, say his lawyers.
According to TMZ, while an appeal has been entered on his behalf, the Empire actor’s lawyers issued an emergency motion on Monday asking the court to free him as his appeal is determined. They claim the risks of Jussie Smollett staying behind bars outweigh any potential benefits.
The legal team says Jussie’s family claims to be receiving a stream of harassing messages and phone calls directed at the actor. They claim this is a reflection of what will happen to Jussie Smollett if he remains incarcerated.
To highlight their claims, they offer a video provided to them by the Smollett family, purportedly a recording of a call made to them by a stranger detailing what should happen to Jussie behind bars. They fear the racist and homophobic slur-filled clip, one of a barrage they have received, is emblematic of the violence Jussie will receive on the inside.
Furthermore, they claim Jussie is at higher risk of catching COVID due to his compromised immune system. They also state holding him in protective custody is causing his mental health to deteriorate. They say his current conditions are akin to solitary confinement and must be released pending appeal.
Jussie Smollett Has Been Punished Enough Already
Additionally, they double down on their earlier points made in court throughout his trial. They argue that Jussie Smollett has already been punished for his actions, and further detention amounts to unconstitutional double jeopardy.
Meanwhile, Patrisse Cullors gave a recent update on the actor after visiting him in jail and pleaded with his supporters to keep fighting. She claimed Jussie is suffering and doesn’t even have a bed in a video uploaded to Jussie’s Instagram account.
“He’s strong, but what’s happening inside is just unacceptable,” The Black Lives Matter co-founder said. “Today is the first day he’s going to be able to get an actual bed. He’s been sleeping on a restraint bed.”
She also encouraged supporters to use the hashtag #FreeJussie on social media and to check up on him in jail.
Jussie Smollett’s former co-star Taraji P. Henson also made her own plea for his freedom this weekend. The actress claimed “the punishment does not fit the crime,” likening Jussie to Emmett Till.