The "Empire" star -- who obviously appeared opposite Jussie through much of the show -- took to IG this weekend with an impassioned plea on behalf of her friend, posting a photo with the hashtag #FreeJussie ... accompanied by a lengthy caption.
She writes, "I am not here to debate you on his innocence but we can agree that the punishment does not fit the crime. Emmett Till was brutally beat and ultimately murdered because of a lie and none of the people involved with his demise spent one day in jail, even after Carolyn Bryant admitted that her claims were false."
Taraji adds, "No one was hurt or killed during Jussie’s ordeal. He has already lost everything, EVERYTHING! To me as an artist not able to create that in itself is punishment enough. He can’t get a job. No one in Hollywood will hire him and again as an artist who loves to create, that is prison."
Finally, she finishes her sentiment with this ... "My prayer is that he is freed and put on house arrest and probation because in this case that would seem fair. Please #freejussie."
As we told you, Jussie's brother told his followers that his sibling had been placed in the psych ward wing of Cook County Jail -- which we've learned is, in fact, true ... but it's not for the reasons that Jocqui suggested ... namely, that he was there against his will.
Our law enforcement sources tell us it's simply where they house high-profile inmates ... and not just that, but he'll also be in protective custody while there, under a watchful eye.
Now, as for TPH's Emmett Till juxtaposition with Jussie ... she's entitled to her opinion, but it's almost certain not everyone's gonna agree with what she's selling here. Fact is ... they're completely different cases, circumstances and time periods -- and that context matters.