Jurnee Smollett is maintaining her brother Jussie’s innocence following his sentencing to 150 days in jail last week.
Jurnee, an actress and star of HBO’s Lovecraft Country, broke her silence days after Jussie’s sentencing by posting the phrase “#FreeJussie” in white font bluntly written over a black background on social media.
“Black Americans are incarcerated in state prisons at nearly five times the rate of White Americans. Jussie is innocent,” Jurnee penned in her caption.
“And… you don’t have to believe in his innocence to believe he should be free. #FreeJussie #StopLockingUpOurPeople,” the actress added.
As MADAMENOIRE reported last week, Jussie also thinks he received a jail sentence because of the color of his skin.
Stemming from the actor’s claim he was the victim of a hate crime in early 2019, as a Black gay man — which courts proved was a hoax — Jussie’s fate came at the hands of Cook County Circuit Judge James on March 11.
In addition to spending 150 days in jail, the former Empire star’s sentence also includes 30 months probation and paying $130,160 in restitution, in addition to a 25,000 fine.
The sentencing followed a jury’s verdict last December that found Jussie guilty on five counts of felony disorderly conduct in relation to the case.
Jacqui Smollett, another of the actor’s siblings, spoke to reporters after Jussie’s sentencing last week and said the actor “is now going to jail for being attacked.”
“Do you know how crazy that is?” Jacqui said. “That judge chastised him! He chastised my brother! He does not deserve this. He’s in jail for five months. That is unacceptable. He is a survivor and he is being completely mistreated, and this has to stop.”
At least Jussie’s family is sticking beside him. As Jurnee pointed out, a person doesn’t have to believe Jussie is innocent to believe he doesn’t deserve jail time for his crime.
Do y’all think the actor’s punishment fit his crime?