Jussie Smollett Trial: Legal Experts Say He Will Likely Be Found Guilty
Legal experts are saying that it's likely Jussie Smollett will be found guilty of perpetuating a false crime. His trial begins this week.
The trial of disgraced “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett for allegedly faking a hate crime against himself started on Monday, and legal experts are saying that it is likely that he will be found guilty.
— Kimberly Klacik (@kimKBaltimore) November 29, 2021
Smollett’s Trial Begins – Legal Experts Weigh In
Smollett, 39, has been accused of falsely claiming that he was jumped by two men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him while also shouting “this is MAGA country” in January of 2019.
However, after investigating his claims, police came to believe that Smollett had hired brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo to attack him so that he could secure himself a higher salary on “Empire” by increasing his public profile.
Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani told Fox News that going into this trial, the odds are stacked against Smollett.
“[The prosectution] has a really strong case,” he said, referring to phone records and texts between Smollett and the Osundairo brothers. The brothers alleged that Smollett paid them $3,500 to pose as attackers.
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“The prosecution is strong because of corroborating, independent evidence that is consistent with Smollett making a false police report,” Rahmani explained. “What type of explanation can Smollett’s attorney have to justify him contacting the brothers?”
Rahmani went on to say that he “expects a guilty verdict” and thinks Smollett is “someone who doesn’t deserve any type of break.” He also said that the trial only “brings more attention to Smollett’s misconduct,” which the public had only just been starting to forget about nearly three years later.
Defense Attorney Speaks Out
But, Silva Megerditchian, a criminal defense attorney based in LA, is not expecting Smollett to go to prison.
“Smollett is facing 6 counts of essentially minor class 4 felonies that carry a maximum sentence of three years in State prison,” she said. “If the jury finds him guilty of any of the charges, it is unlikely Smollett will serve any prison time.”
“The judge will consider that Smollett has no history of any arrests nor convictions–and thus will likely give him a probationary sentence,” Megerditchian added. “Keeping that in mind, however, this was a case that got national attention, and stirred a lot of anger that Smollett would stage this kind of grotesque racial attack.”
“As well, the City of Chicago spent a lot of money investigating these false charges,” she continued. “Thus, I would not be surprised if the Judge imposes some kind of sentence, considering the nation is watching.”
Smollett Stands By His Story
Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, Smollett’s former lawyers, have defended the actor by claiming that the attack was not a hoax.
“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” they previously said.
“He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack,” the lawyers added. “Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
Many feel that Smollett tried to use the racial and political divides that currently plague our country for his own personal gain. These people will certainly be happy to see him found guilty, should that be what ultimately happens in this case.