jussie smollett hate crime
jussie smollett hate crime

Disgraced “Empire” star Jussie Smollett appeared in court today to plead not guilty to the new charges levied against by Chicago special prosecutor Dan Webb. The recent charges stem from Smollett’s allegedly false hate crime report filed early last year. Controversy sparked with Chicago Prosecutor Kim Foxx abruptly dropped all charges, resulting in the Special Prosecutor’s appointment to reassess the case. Smollett’s legal team, however, is pulling out all the stops to get their client off the hook. Again.

Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty – Again

According to CBS Local, Tina Glandian, Smollett’s attorney, entered the plea on her client’s behalf during a quick hearing before Cook County Judge James Linn. Smollett’s legal team had been trying to delay the arraignment by filing a motion in the Illinois Supreme Court asking for a stay while the court considers their request to vacate a Cook County court order appointing a special prosecutor in the case. But the stay was denied forcing Smollett to enter his plea.

Special prosecutor Dan Webb asked for a $10,000 bond – the same amount as Smollett’s bond in his original case – but the Judge expressed doubts that Smollett would be a flight risk. Instead, the Judge gave Smollett recognizance bond, which means he doesn’t need to pay any money to be released. Jussie Smollett will next appear in Chicago court on March 18.

Jussie Smollett’s lawyers have also filed a separate motion to dismiss special prosecutor Webb’s indictment of Smollett on the grounds of double jeopardy. They believe Smollett’s previously forfeited bond should satisfy the city even if Smollett is guilty of staging and reporting a hate crime.

“One of the protections that the double jeopardy clause provides is not to punish somebody twice for the same offense. Previously he did forfeit his bond, in the amount of $10,000,” Glandian said.

“That in essence was a punishment stemming from the criminal proceedings, and therefore trying to punish him again a second time around is not permitted under the double jeopardy clause. You don’t just get a do over.”

Jussie Smollett’s Alleged Hate Crime

Jussie Smollett made national headlines in January 2019 when the actor claimed he was the victim of a hate crime in downtown Chicago.

The then “Empire” star told police that he was jumped by two men. The masked assailants allegedly hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him. He also claimed that the men poured bleach on him, put a rope around his neck, and shouted “this is MAGA country”.

Police, however, ended up concluding that Smollett paid two friends of his to carry out the assault. Allegedly the hoax was designed to secure a raise for himself on the FOX series “Empire.”

RELATED: Donald Trump Jr. Predicts Jussie Smollett Indictment Outcome – Calls Actor’s Story ‘Just Stupid’

Officials were reportedly furious to find out that the high profile hate crime was a hoax. As a result, Smollett faced decades in prison for lying to police. That is, before Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx inexplicably dropped all charges. Foxx’s decision met swift resistance from the police and the public.

Legal Team Paints Smollett As Victim

Thankfully, special prosecutor Webb was assigned to take another look at the case. The Jussie Smollett case is former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb’s fifth stint as a special prosecutor in his nearly five-decade legal career. Ultimately, Webb hit Smollett with a six-count indictment. The new indictment charges Smollett with disorderly conduct for making false statements to the police

Smollett’s legal team spoke out to blast Webb’s decision to prosecute today, painting their client as a victim.

“He’s obviously frustrated to be dragged through this process again, but he has tremendous support,” Glandian said. “At this point, this case has become such an ordeal, his primary concern is moving on himself.”

RELATED: Jussie Smollett Indicted Again By Chicago Special Prosecutor Months After Initial Charges Were Dropped

If Jussie Smollett tried to play off the racial and political divides in America for his own personal gain, he needs to be held accountable.

Celebrity or not, that type of behavior is disgraceful and justice must be served.

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