Will Jussie Smollett's guilty verdict be overturned? Actor '100 percent' sure he'll win

Jussie Smollett's attorney said on Thursday, December 9, that the accused is “100 percent confident” that he will be cleared by an appeals court


                            Will Jussie Smollett's guilty verdict be overturned? Actor '100 percent' sure he'll win
Prosecutors said that Jussie Smollett committed the crime in an attempt to gain sympathy and boost his career (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS: Jussie Smollett's attorney said on Thursday, December 9, that the accused is “100 percent confident” that his client will be cleared by an appeals court on charges he staged a hate crime in 2019. This comment comes after Smollett was found guilty on Thursday, December 9, of staging a hate crime against himself. Prosecutors said that the one-time star of the TV drama 'Empire' committed the crime in an attempt to gain sympathy and boost his career. The Cook County Circuit Court jury deliberated for as many as nine hours. Smollett, 39, was found guilty of five of the six felony disorderly conduct counts he faced, one for each time he was accused of lying to police.

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“We feel 100 percent confident that this case will be won on appeal,” Nenye Uche, lead attorney for the defense, said. “Unfortunately, that’s not the route we wanted but sometimes that’s the route you have to take to win, especially a case where we remain 100 percent confident in our client’s innocence.”

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“He’s a human being, he’s disappointed — but I will tell you this I am very proud of him, I’m very, very proud of him,” Uche said. “He’s holding up very strong he’s committed to clearing his name and he’s 100 percent confident that he’s going to get cleared by the appellate court.”

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In this handout provided by the Chicago Police Department, Jussie Smollett poses for a booking photo after turning himself into the Chicago Police Department on February 21, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. 

According to Uche, Smollett’s conviction is inconsistent as he was found not guilty on only one of the six counts against him. “Jussie was not accused of doing two different things and he was accused of doing one thing, and charged multiple times for the same incident, a jury cannot come out and say guilty of lying, but not guilty of lying,” Uche said. “It doesn’t make sense. 

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“From the first day of this case, his case has been prejudged, his case has been tried in the media, and it’s unfortunate, this is the United States of America,” Uche continued. “We live in a constitutional democracy where everyone is presumed innocent but obviously, if we’re being honest, that hasn’t been the case. But we are confident in our appellate system, we’re confident in our Illinois Supreme Court and we’re confident that at the end of the day, what’s out there in the news media, and in the gossip forums are not going to stand a chance in court.”

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Smollett had claimed that he was walking home from a Subway restaurant on January 29, 2019, when he was attacked by two men wearing ski masks. The men, he claimed, hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him, and even put a noose around his neck. Smollett alleged that one of the attackers appeared to be White. While being assaulted, he allegedly heard one assailant yell, “This is MAGA country" — a reference to then-President Donald Trump’s slogan.

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Smollett's manager called the police and cops arrived to find that the noose was still hanging around his neck. “I just wanted y’all to see it,” Smollett had told them. However, two brothers — Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo — later informed police that Smollett had faked the attack. They said that Smollett made them stage the assault in an attempt to grab the attention of his 'Empire' (musical drama) bosses. Smollett was ultimately charged with giving a false report to the police.

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In a shocking move later, Cook County prosecutors dropped the charges after Smollett's indictment. Following a mass outcry after this incident, a special prosecutor, Dan Webb, was appointed. Just before the pandemic hit, Webb and his team brought a new indictment against Smollett in February 2020. Finally, on November 29, 2021 the evidence against Smollett was publicly aired in court.

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