Jurnee Smollett, one of actor Jussie Smollett's sisters, took to social media after her brother received a 150-day jail sentence on Thursday for staging a fake hate crime against himself in 2019.
Jurnee, who also works in the entertainment industry, said in a post to Instagram on Sunday that ''Black Americans are incarcerated in state prisons at nearly five times the rate of White Americans,'' before advocating her brother's innocence and then implying it did not matter.
''You don't have to believe in his innocence to believe he should be free,'' Jurnee added.
The post also contained ''#FreeJussie'' and ''#StopLockingUpOurPeople.''
Jurnee's statement appears to imply that her brother should be released because of disparate incarceration rates between Black and white Americans, even if they believe him to be guilty, Breitbart reported.
Jussie Smollett's felony conviction originates from a false report that two white men who support then-President Donald Trump physically attacked him in January 2019.
The actor had said the men were wearing red hats when they put a rope around his neck, poured bleach on him, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, and shouted, ''This is MAGA country!'' in reference to Trump's 2016 campaign slogan.
Judge James Linn also sentenced Smollett, 39, to 30 months of probation, restitution of $120,106, and a fine of $25,000 in last week's sentencing after being found guilty in December.
''You're just a charlatan, pretending to be a victim of a hate crime,'' Linn told Smollett at sentencing.
''Your performance on the witness stand, this can only be described as pure perjury,'' he added. ''You committed hour upon hour upon hour of pure perjury.''
Smollett then repeatedly shouted, ''I am not suicidal, and I am innocent,'' before being taken away.
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