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Some Legal Experts Speculate Smollett Will Serve Time: ‘I Would Give Him A Taste Of Jail Time’
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 26: Actor Jussie Smollett after his court appearance at Leighton Courthouse on March 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. This morning in court it was announced that all charges were dropped against the actor.
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Some legal experts are speculating that actor Jussie Smollett will spend some time in jail, though it likely will be months to a year, for convictions the actor is facing from a 2019 hate crime hoax.

Smollett was found guilty on five out of six counts of disorderly conduct, Thursday. He is still awaiting sentencing, and is facing up to three years in prison for the charges according to NBC Chicago.

“If it was me, I would give him a taste of jail time, and sentence him to 1,000 hours of community service in a year,” former Illinois Judge David Erickson told the New York Post, adding, “If it’s jail time, it will be a year or less.”

The expert said the judge will look at Smollett’s “motivation” in the matter when considering jail time, and a past DUI arrest.

“I think [Cook County] Judge [Linn] Winn will consider that he used racism and homophobia to promote his own career. If you’re going to give someone a harsher sentence, you have to look at his motivation,” Erickson said. “Why he did it now becomes the question in sentencing especially with a hate crime.”

The Post report noted, “The judge may also look at a 2007 DUI arrest in which Smollett lied to police then pleaded no-contest to false impersonation, driving under the influence, and driving without a valid license, Erickson said.”

Another legal expert, Terri Austin, speculated that Judge Winn would make an example out of Smollett.

“I think there is a good likelihood that he will do jail time because he wasted the resources of the city of Chicago,” Austin explained. “He lied multiple times to police officers and lied on the stand. I think the judge may also try to make an example out of him.”

“At the end of the day, he’s probably going to get between one and three years, and probation,” she said. “And a $25,000 fine.”

Back in January 2019, Smollett claimed he was targeted and attacked by apparent supporters of President Donald Trump in an anti-gay, anti-black hate crime. His alleged attackers, whom he initially described as white males who yelled “This is MAGA country,” were brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo. Notably, the brothers are both black men who knew the “Empire” star before the incident and have claimed Smollett orchestrated the “hoax.” The Daily Wire detailed Smollett’s claim at the time:

Smollett contends he was targeted by two Trump supporters, who verbally and physically accosted him as he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop in downtown Chicago on January 29. The actor says the men called him a “f*****” and a “n*****,” tied a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him, and kicked him in the ribs.

Related: Juror On Smollett Case Speaks Out: ‘We All Thought We Were Doing Jussie A Favor’

Related: Chief Who Arrested Smollett Says Sandwich Tipped Off Authorities, Maybe Would’ve Let Off With Apology

Related: ‘Jussie Smollett Can Rest Knowing That His Attacker Has Been Convicted’: Social Media Erupts Following Verdict

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