Posted on March 3, 2023

Jussie Smollett Demands Retrial for 2019 Hate Crime Hoax

Alberto Luperon, Law & Crime, March 2, 2023

Actor Jussie Smollett on Wednesday filed court documents seeking a retrial in his conviction for orchestrating a fake hate crime attack.

In an argument issued to the Illinois First District Appellate Court, the defense argued that trial judge James Linn was prejudiced against them, sandbagged their work during cross-examination, and let prosecutors strike a disproportionate amount of potential Black jurors and a gay juror.

The defense accused Linn of going overboard at sentencing and taking “on a personal retributive tone” “based on speculative information” that can’t be considered under case law.

Smollett, who is Black and gay, claimed he was attacked in early 2019 in Chicago by attackers who put a noose on him, poured bleach on him, and yelled, “This is MAGA country.”

But police said he concocted the incident with the help of brothers Abel Osundairo and Ola Osundairo, who are Black. The motive was that the actor was disappointed with his pay on the show “Empire” as a publicity stunt.

Smollett initially resolved the case with Cook County prosecutors in 2019, who dropped charges in return for community service.

However, Judge Michael Toomin appointed a special prosecutor to handle the case, citing “unprecedented irregularities” such as State’s Attorney Kim Foxx being involved in the investigation even when she said she recused herself.

Smollett was convicted of disorderly conduct charges. {snip}