Jussie Smollett Loses Attempt to Have New Charges Dismissed, Judge Says Not Double Jeopardy

While Black Lives Matter protests grip the nation, Jussie Smollett said this week that he thinks they relate to his case with the City of Chicago, because he claims the city’s trying to cover up for lying police.

He got some bad news yesterday as his attempt to have his new charges dismissed was rejected by a judge. His lawyers were trying to argue that they were double jeopardy but the judge didn’t agree since he didn’t have to admit wrongdoing in the initial case.

From ABC7:

The way Judge James Linn saw it, the only way double jeopardy would apply is if Smollett was legally punished for what had happened to him since he was charged in connection with the January 2019 incident in downtown Chicago. But Linn determined that the deal in which the state’s attorney’s office agreed to drop charges without requiring Smollett to admit any wrongdoing and Smollett agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bond did not add up to legal punishment.

“There was no trial in this case, there was no jury empaneled, no witnesses were sworn, no evidence was heard, no guilty pleas were ever entered … nothing like that every happened,” Linn said of the 2019 case. “There was no adjudication of this case.”

Smollett contends that early on Jan. 29, 2019, he was walking home when two masked men approached him, made racist and homophobic insults, beat him and looped a noose around his neck before fleeing. He said his assailants, at least one of whom he described as white, told him he was in “MAGA country” – a reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Weeks later, the story that already received international media attention took a shocking twist when police alleged that Smollett, who is black and openly gay, had paid two black friends $3,500 to help him stage the attack because he was unhappy with his salary as an actor on “Empire,” a Fox series about that follows a black family as they navigate the ups and downs of the recording industry. Smollett was accused of using the scheme to drum up publicity for his career.

Months after local prosecutors made their stunning announcement that they were dropping charges, a judge last August appointed Dan Webb, a former U.S. attorney, to look into why those original charges were dropped.

Smollett was indicted again in February. He has maintained his innocence.

According to new legal documents, Smollett said, “As we see millions across the country rise up to protest and expose police misconduct, the City, by its refusal to produce the requested documents, is choosing to actively resist a citizen’s lawful efforts to reveal dishonesty.”

From TMZ:

Jussie’s specifically seeking documents about the termination of Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who he says was involved in his case from the get-go … so his firing is relevant to Jussie’s defense.

The City of Chicago, on the other hand, maintains the case is about Smollett lying to cops, not Johnson, and is opposing Jussie’s request.

Jussie maintains his innocence, though, adding … “the City and CPD knew Mr. Smollett was innocent, and that the City has relentlessly pursued Mr. Smollett even after the charges against Mr. Smollett were dismissed.”

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