Jussie Smollett’s choice to proceed to attraction his hate crime hoax conviction was not the “smartest” transfer for the disgraced actor, an professional conversant in the case tells Fox News Digital.
Smollett filed a petition on Feb. 5, requesting the Illinois excessive court docket intervene in his ongoing authorized drama. The “Empire” actor’s conviction for a staged hate crime was upheld in December.
A jury beforehand discovered Smollett responsible on 5 of the six fees of disorderly conduct after an almost two-week trial in 2021. Smollett, who’s Black and homosexual, reported to Chicago police that he was the sufferer of a racist and homophobic assault by two males sporting ski masks in January 2019.
“The smartest move would have been to do the time and get it behind him,” branding professional Eric Schiffer instructed Fox News Digital. “These moments where you are revisiting the facts of a case, in which he severely damaged his trust with the public, further reinforces him as a personality the public can’t trust.”
JUSSIE SMOLLETT’S CONVICTION UPHELD BY ILLINOIS APPEALS COURT
“Instead, had he done the time, he could have begun to rebuild himself and his story and focus on new things,” Schiffer added. This may have included tasks, neighborhood service or nonprofits – the place the “narrative” is not the “overhang of how he tried to pull a giant fraud on the public.”
Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail following his conviction. The actor was additionally sentenced to 30 months felony probation, restitution to the town of Chicago within the quantity of $120,106 and a superb of $25,000.
HOW JUSSIE SMOLLETT STAGED HIS HATE CRIME HOAX: ACCOMPLICES RETURN TO THE SCENE OF THE CRIME
The “Empire” actor needs the conviction overturned. “What should have been a straightforward case has been complicated by the intersection of politics and public outrage,” Smollett’s attorneys wrote within the new submitting.
They repeated an argument from earlier appeals saying his 2021 trial violated his Fifth Amendment protections towards double jeopardy, or being punished twice for a similar crime. They stated he already carried out neighborhood service and forfeited a $10,000 bond as a part of a 2019 take care of the Cook County state’s legal professional’s workplace to drop the preliminary 16 counts of disorderly conduct.
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Eric Anderson, counsel at Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae, instructed Fox News Digital: “If you have the resources to fight a conviction, then you should use those resources.”
“One of the problems with our justice system is that the ability to challenge hinges on either the wealth or access to wealth of a defendant or the goodwill of those willing to do the work at reduced or no costs to the defendant,” he added.
Smollett has a “50/50 chance” of getting his conviction overturned, in keeping with Anderson. If the Illinois Supreme Court had been to take up Smollett’s case – they will seemingly focus in on one in all Smollett’s 5 arguments behind his attraction, the authorized professional defined.
Smollett’s authorized staff is arguing that the state breached a “nolle prose agreement,” or non-prosecution settlement, by indicting him once more within the hate crime hoax. In the settlement, Smollett had been instructed he may carry out neighborhood service, forfeit his bond, and the case can be dismissed – much like a deferred prosecution. Instead, a grand jury restored the costs in 2020, and he was later convicted.
Anderson famous the Illinois Supreme Court may wish to reply the questions surrounding this argument, equivalent to: “Just how much value can one rely upon in a negotiated nolle pros with the State? How detailed must the agreement be?”
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Smollett’s ongoing authorized case may “be seen as poison for casting,” Anderson added, however having his conviction overturned may “be good not only for his life but for his career.”
“He can do the time later as well as he can right now,” Anderson stated. “After, if his case is not overturned, his schedule will then be wide open.”
Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, believes Smollett can “rebuild himself” however, “he needs time to heal” his popularity.
“When you’re reminding the public constantly of what a giant con and fraud you were attempting to pull, that’s not the best strategy to rebuild in Hollywood,” he defined.
“He needs memories to fade and headlines and stories associated to him are about him rebuilding his life, focusing on things that would help the community and projects that he may be in that are new and not further headlines that are tied to his terrible choices.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.