Jussie Smollett's Conviction Upheld, Facing Prison Time For Staged Hate Crime

Written By BlabberBuzz | Saturday, 02 December 2023 16:30
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The conviction of Jussie Smollett, the disgraced actor who staged a hate crime against himself, was upheld by an Illinois appeals court on Friday.

The actor was previously found guilty of squandering police resources, among other charges. TMZ reported that the three-judge panel voted 2-1 to maintain the conviction. Smollett, who was convicted in 2021, spent a mere six days in Cook County jail before being released pending an appeal. With the affirmation of his conviction, Smollett is expected to complete his 150-day sentence.

The actor's legal team has the option to appeal the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court, which would then determine whether to hear the case. Justice David Navarro, as reported by The Messenger, stated that the 2019 agreement with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office "is not a final disposition of the case, and will not bar another prosecution for the same offense" under Illinois law.

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In late 2021, Smollett was found guilty on five of six charges of disorderly conduct following a two-week trial. The actor had alleged that he was the target of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago, claiming that white men wearing MAGA hats doused him with bleach, tied a rope fashioned into a noose around his neck, and hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him.

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The identities of the alleged attackers were uncovered by police through tracking the Uber order that transported them. Brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo were identified as suspects and were apprehended upon their return from Nigeria. The prosecution argued during the trial that Smollett had hired the Osundairo brothers to orchestrate the attack.

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Surveillance footage showed Smollett and the brothers conducting a rehearsal of the attack days before it occurred. In September, Smollett's attorneys sought to have the conviction dismissed, alleging a violation of the actor’s Fifth Amendment rights.

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Smollett's allegations garnered support from several individuals, including Vice President Kalama Harris, who stated, "Jussie Smollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery. This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate."

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