He got away with only 150 days in county jail (plus fines, community service and the rest), rather than doing hard time in a proper prison. He deserved the latter, IMHO.
As the judge said during sentencing:
“Let me tell you Mr. Smollett, I know that there is nothing that I will do here today that can come close the damage you’ve already done to your own life. You’ve turned your life upside down here, misconduct and shenanigans. You’ve destroyed your life as you knew it. And there’s nothing that any sentencing judge could do to you that can compare to the damage you’ve already caused yourself,” Linn told Smollett shortly before the sentencing was handed down.
“He cares deeply about social justice issues, and for you now to sit here convicted of hoaxing hate crimes, racial hate crimes, and homophobic hate crimes, that hypocrisy is just astounding,” Linn later added.
“There’s some conjecture, you did it for the money,” Linn said. “Frankly, I do not believe that you did it for the money. You were making, the evidence shows, close to $2 million a year when this happened? I don’t think money motivated you at all.”
“But the only thing I can find is that you really crave the attention, and you wanted to get the attention. And you were so invested in issues of social justice, and you knew that this was a sore spot for everybody in this country,” he continued. “You knew this was a country that was slowly trying to heal past injustices and current injustices and trying to make a better future for each other and it was a hard road. And you took some scabs off and the healing wounds and rip them apart, for one reason you want to make yourself more famous in for a while, it worked.”
“Everybody was talking about you, the lights are on you,” Linn continued. “You were actually throwing a national pity party for yourself. Why would you do such thing? Why would you? I understand you crave the attention so much. But why would you be trade something like social justice issues which you cared so much about? The only thing I could conclude is that is, and I acknowledged there are wonderful sides to you. They’re very giving and charitable and loving sides to you. But you have another side of you that is profoundly arrogant and selfish, selfish and narcissistic as the only thing that can be concluded, and that bad side of you came out during the course of all these events.”
Linn later talked about premeditation as it pertained to this case.
“There are crimes of premeditation, Mr. Smollett, and that’s what you’re all about here,” said Linn.
Linn said that Smollet chose a location, time, props and more to conduct the hoax, doing rehearsals as well.
“This was premeditated, premeditated in the extreme and I find that your extreme premeditation in this case is an aggravating factor,” said Linn.
Linn continued on to summarize the case in order of events.
“And then you start to lie and you haven’t stopped lying ever since,” Linn said, in regards to Smollett lying to the officers that responded first to his call. “You’ve been lying and lying and lying about this case, and that’s why you’re here today. You want to fake the incident down the street. Try to get some attention at work. Try to have somebody else feel sorry for you. That would never have got you here. The problem was you lied to the police and you caused all kinds of consternation, you caused a major investigation to take place, which got many people involved and cause great stress throughout the city and throughout the entire community here and that’s the problem. That’s why you’re here now. Those were the crimes you’re convicted of, not the shenanigans out there but the lying about it, making it up, and that’s why we’re here now.”
“What happened? Turns out that you’re not a victim of a hate crime. You’re not a victim of racial hate crime. You’re not a victim of a homophobic hate crime. You’re just a charlatan, pretending to be a victim of a hate crime,” Linn later said.
“Your very name has become an adverb for lying. And I cannot imagine what could be worse than that. People talk about situations where somebody is lying and trying to manipulate and maneuver his story and your name comes up. So pulling a Jussie, something like that. that’s awful,” said Linn.
There’s more at the link.
The judge had the option (but chose not to exercise it) of sentencing Smollett to up to 3 years imprisonment on each of the five counts of which he was convicted. If I’d been on the bench, I’d have given him the full 3 years for each count, and ruled that they should be served consecutively – in other words, he’d have had to complete one sentence before starting the next. A cumulative total of fifteen years behind bars, for a serial liar who wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars in police investigations and hundreds of hours of their time due to his egotistical self-centeredness, would have been reasonable recompense for his crimes.
As it is, I’m sure he’s going to play the injured, martyred victim of “racial/anti-gay injustice” for all he’s worth. I won’t be surprised if he fake-attempts suicide while behind bars; at least, his shouts about “not being suicidal” while being taken from the courtroom appear to me to be suggesting that. He’s an actor, and he knows how to set the scene for future drama. I don’t think he’s in the least sorry for his crimes; rather, he glories in them, and he’s going to continue to play the victim for as long as he thinks it can boost his public image. The only people taken in by it (or, at least, willing to pay lip-service to it) will be charlatans and con-men like himself; but there are plenty of them around, and the race relations “industry” will doubtless seek to make what capital it can out of his situation. Racist hucksters don’t have many scruples, after all.
I think Smollett’s criminal charade has set back race relations in this country by a tangible margin, and caused immense damage to our society. He should pay for that, but IMHO, his sentence doesn’t even come close to adequate recompense. I can only hope that his acting career has been so damaged by his shenanigans that it – and he – will suffer from them for the rest of his life. That can pay the remainder of his debt to society. As for the burden on his soul . . . judging by his behavior, I venture to doubt he’s repented at all. I hope and pray that he will, before it’s too late. There again, he may not bother about such things. Many people don’t, nowadays – more’s the pity.
Perhaps the Babylon Bee’s headline said it best:
“Pulling a Jussie”, indeed!