CBS News reported the following on Wednesday:
Jussie Smollett walked out of a Chicago prison on Wednesday night. An appeals court earlier cleared the way for his release, ordering the actor be released from jail after posting a personal recognizance bond of $150,000, and pending the appeal of his conviction for lying to police about a racist and homophobic attack.
…Smollett’s attorneys had argued that he would have completed the sentence by the time the appeal process was completed and that Smollett could be in danger of physical harm if he remained in jail.
…He (Smollett defense attorney Nenye Uche) criticized the special prosecutor’s decision to charge Smollett again after the initial charges were dropped by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and he paid a fine. He also called Judge James Linn’s sentence excessive for a low-level felony, adding that the appellate court doesn’t “play politics.”
“The real question is: Should Black men be walked into jail for a class 4 felony? Shame on you if you think they should,” Uche said.
The office of the special prosecutor called the claim that Smollett’s health and safety were at risk “factually incorrect,” in a response to his motion, noting that Smollett was being held in protective custody at the jail.
I hate to be difficult (but I am good at it), but what difference does it make that Jussie Smollett is black? What is the normal sentence for a class 4 felony? The color of the person who committed the crime should have absolutely no bearing on the sentence!
Now let’s contrast this event with another recent event.
On March 7th, Red State reported the following:
You don’t see this very often in federal court, but one of the January 6 (J6) Defendants, Lucas Denney, is being held illegally. He was arrested in Texas on December 13, 2021, and brought before a federal magistrate, who ordered him detained without bond on a criminal Complaint. It then took six weeks to transfer him to DC, where he is currently being held. He has not appeared before a federal judge in DC since his arrival, although that will change Monday afternoon as a result of his lawyer seeking his release.
The article at Red State concludes:
And Denney’s case shows that apparently no one at DOJ, either at the U.S. Attorneys’ Office in D.C., at Main Justice, or in the U.S. Marshal’s Service, is paying attention to (or better yet tracking) these outside-of-D.C. pre-trial detention cases to ensure that the detainees are receiving all of the due process protections to which they are entitled and that the constitutional and statutory deadlines are met. Since it is the DOJ J6 prosecution team that is ordering arrests (instead of voluntary surrenders) and demanding detentions and transfers (instead of seeking reasonable conditions for pre-trial release), the failure to comply with the Constitution, the criminal code, and the Rules of Criminal Procedure rests entirely at the feet of the DOJ.
The operative principles and rules for these early proceedings in criminal cases are not obscure, complex, or ambiguous. Competent prosecutors have no excuse for not knowing that Rule 5 requires that the Preliminary Hearing take place in the district where the Initial Appearance occurs, that it must be held within 14 days of that Initial Appearance, that there is no such thing as two “Initial Appearances,” and that the Speedy Trial Act requires an indictment to be filed within 30 days of arrest.
The entire episode is an unmitigated disgrace.
We have become a banana republic.