Andre Hope, the Only Black Juror on the Smollett Trial Questions Why Jussie Would Place Noose Back on his Neck When Police Responded

Jussie Smollett Will Have His Day As Illinois Supreme Court Agree To Hear His Appeal Of Conviction

On Wednesday, March 27, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s 2021 conviction of being found guilty of organizing an attack in which he stated that two men assaulted him in Chicago, according to The Associated Press. 

Smollett was convicted on charges of faking a racist, homophobic attack in 2019 and lying about it to Chicago police. The court will review a state appellate court ruling from December 2023 that upheld the 2021 conviction by a Cook County jury. A court date has not been determined yet.

Illinois’ First District Appellate Court dismissed those claims with a 2-1 decision, stating that no one promised Smollett that he wouldn’t face another prosecution when he accepted the original deal. One of the judges, Justice Freddrenna Lyle dissented and stated that the refiled charges were “fundamentally unfair.”

When Smollett’s attorneys submitted the appeal, they stated that the 2021 trial violated his Fifth Amendment right against double jeopardy. Before the trial, Smollett had already performed community service and forfeited a $10,000 bond. That was part of the 2019 deal he had with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office when they initially dropped the charges. When he was on trial, his attorneys said he was punished twice for the same crime.

The attorneys believe the office of prosecutor Kim Foxx used proper discretion when they dropped the original charges years ago.

“If Mr. Smollett’s convictions are allowed to stand, this case will set a dangerous precedent by giving prosecutors a second bite at the apple any time there is dissatisfaction with another prosecutor’s exercise of discretion,” the appeal stated.

Smollett was found guilty of five counts of disorderly conduct for setting up the attack on a Chicago street (The television show, “Empire” was filmed in Chicago). He claimed two men assaulted him while saying slurs and placing a noose around his neck. Smollett was accused of paying two brothers who he met on the set of the television show, $3,500 to launch the attack.

Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail, but he had already served six days before he was freed pending appeal. He was also given 30 months of probation and ordered to pay $130,160 in restitution to the state.

Jussie Smollett Will Have His Day As Illinois Supreme Court Agree To Hear His Appeal Of Conviction

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