Jussie Smollett: Odds against actor as prosecution has VERY strong case, says expert
On Monday, November 29, the jury for Jussie Smollett's trial was chosen in the case against the ex 'Empire' actor for allegedly staging a hate crime in January 2019. Smollett, 39, has been charged with felony disorderly conduct after allegedly lying to police about being the victim of a racial and homophobic assault in Chicago.
The crime is classified as a class 4 felony, and it carries a maximum term of three years in jail. However, experts believe that if Smollett is found guilty, he will most likely be sentenced to probation and possibly community service. Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani, who is not involved in the investigation, told Fox News that he believes Smollett's chances are stacked against him. He said that the prosecution has a fairly good case, citing evidence such as Smollett's phone records and texts with his alleged hired assailants.
Smollett allegedly hired two brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, at $3,500 to pose as his assailants. "The prosecution is strong because of corroborating, independent evidence that is consistent with Smollett making a false police report," Rahmani elaborated. "What type of explanation can Smollett's attorney have to justify him contacting the brothers?"
Rahmani said he "expects a guilty conviction" and believes Smollett "doesn't deserve any kind of break." In fact, according to the legal expert, the trial will merely "draw more attention to Smollett's wrongdoing," which the public had begun to forget about since the incident occurred prior to the pandemic. It's unclear whether Smollett, who is Black and gay, would testify. The brothers are set to testify at trial, repeating what they already told police: that Smollett paid them to stage the attack in order to boost his public reputation.
The jury will most likely watch surveillance video from more than four dozen cameras used by police to track the brothers' movements before and after the alleged attack, as well as a video showing the brothers purchasing a red hat, ski masks and gloves from a beauty supply shop hours earlier.
According to Silva Megerditchian, a criminal defense attorney from Los Angeles who is not working on the case, "Smollett is accused of committing six relatively minor class 4 felonies, each of which carries a maximum term of three years in state prison". He told Fox News, "Smollett is unlikely to serve any jail time if the jury finds him guilty of any of the allegations."