Jussie Smollett black juror noose evidence trial guilty verdict
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Last week, former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett was found guilty on charges that he lied to police when reporting an alleged hate crime in 2019. Now, the only black juror in his trial is speaking out to attack the disgraced Hollywood star. 

Jussie Smollett Juror Speaks Out

Juror Andre Hope “took no pleasure” in finding Jussie Smollett guilty on five felony counts of disorderly conduct for making a false report to Chicago police in January of 2019 where he claimed to be the victim of a particularly egregious hate crime. An attack which Chicago prosecutors say the then “Empire” star staged.

But Hope says the evidence was “overwhelming” and described the case as “sad” when talking to WLS in Chicago

Hope called the noose a critical piece of evidence. “As an African American person, I’m not putting that noose back on at all,” said Hope, 63, according to Daily Mail.

While he says the evidence was overwhelming,  Hope is still left with questions.

“I still have not figured out a motive for why he did – why this had to even happen,” said Hope. “He was a star.”

The retiree has two sons around Smollett’s age but had not seen “Empire” nor heard of the actor prior to his trial. Hope was shocked to be selected for the jury in the first place and so he took his role as juror “very seriously”.

Related: Mike Rowe Reveals Why He Left Fox News Set As Soon As Jussie Smollett Verdict Came Out

Jussie Smollett’s Alleged Lies

In January of 2019, Jussie Smollett told Chicago police he was attacked by two men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him while also shouting “this is MAGA country.”

He also claimed that his attackers tied a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him.

After police investigated, however, they found that Smollett had paid two men, brothers, to attack him in the hopes of garnering himself publicity that would land him a higher salary on “Empire.”

Hope was doubtful about Smollett’s claims from the start of the trial. 

“Two o’clock in the morning. Cold outside,” Hope said. “When you just use your common sense as what’s there, yeah it just – it didn’t add up.”

Hope also said that the jury never argued and was never deadlocked – they simply took their time to be thorough during deliberation.

Check out juror Andre Hope’s full comments on the Jussie Smollett trial and guilty verdict below.

Smollett is facing up to twenty years in prison after being convicted of five of the six counts of disorderly conduct. 

“For Mr Smollett to get up and lie for hours and hours, that really compounded his misconduct,” said special prosecutor Dan Webb. 

Related: Black Lives Matter Throws Support Behind Jussie Smollett – ‘We Can Never Believe The Police’

He Plans To Appeal

Jussie Smollett has already said through his defense attorney that he plans to appeal the verdict.

His lawyer, Nenye Uche, told reporters that Smollett is “100% innocent” and that his team is confident “he’s going to be cleared of all, all accusations on all charges.”

“The verdict is inconsistent,” Uche said, according to Fox News. “You can’t say Jussie is lying and say Jussie is not lying for the same exact incident.”

“We are confident in our appellate system,” Uche said. “We are 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.”

It’s now been two years and juror Andre Hope isn’t the only one left with questions. Americans want to know what really happened and special prosecutor Dan Webb believes the public is entitled to know the facts of the matter.

Now that Jussie Smollett has been found guilty, special prosecutor Webb is requesting that his full 60-page evidence report be released. Webb is scheduled to appear before a judge this week to formally present his request.

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