Jussie Smollett's conviction over hate crime hoax upheld

Smollett conviction upheld

Jussie Smollett's disorderly conduct conviction for faking a hate crime has been upheld.

The 'Empire' actor was found guilty for staging the 2019 attack on himself and making a false police report two years ago and was sentenced to 150 days in jail in March 2022 but released pending an appeal and on Friday, an Illinois court upheld the original decision.

Appellate Justices David Navarro and Mary Ellen Coghlan ruled: “We affirm the judgment of the circuit court of Cook County."

The 41-year-old star had sought to dismiss the charges after arguing there had been an “invalid appointment of the special prosecutor," but the opinion stated he had filed an appeal on a case under a different proceeding but also after the deadline had passed.

The ruling stated: “Given the absence of a non-prosecution agreement with the CCSAO (the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office), reprosecuting Smollett was not fundamentally unfair.

“Because the charges against Smollett were nol-prossed before jeopardy had attached in the first criminal proceeding, the subsequent prosecution did not violate his right against double jeopardy.”

The third judge, Freddrenna Lyle, had found it was "fundamentally unfair" for Dan Webb to be appointed special prosecutor after the actor had completed the community service that was part of a deal his team had previously made to get charges dropped.

The judge wrote: “Rich or poor, famous or infamous—the State is called to prosecute everyone fairly and justly and not be swayed simply by public criticism.

"Unfortunately, this case shows that outcry from some members of the community and media pressure can lead to a dismantling of such an agreement between the State and a defendant.”

Jussie's lawyer said they are ready to take the case to the Supreme Court as only two of the three appellate judges had ruled against him.

A spokesperson for his attorney Tina Glandian told Deadline: “We wish to highlight that the decision was divided, with Justice Lyle offering a detailed analysis in favor of Smollett.

“We are preparing to escalate this matter to the Supreme Court, armed with a substantial body of evidence.”

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