Actor Jussie Smollett on Friday lost his bid to have new charges against him thrown out.
Smollett had initially claimed in a since-discredited account that he was attacked in a racist and homophobic assault in January 2019.
When that story fell apart, Smollett was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct.
Those charges were later dropped by the Cook County prosecutor’s office, which in turn was investigated for the manner in which it handled the high-profile case.
Six charges related to Smollett’s original claims were later brought against him. Those were the charges Smollett sought to have dropped.
Smollett’s attorneys said their client had performed community service and forfeited his $10,000 bond to get out from under the 2019 charges, and therefore any new charges violated his right against double jeopardy, according to WBBM-TV.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge James Linn disagreed.
“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 Friday, according to WGN-TV.
“There was no adjudication of this case.”
Linn said Smollett could not have paid any criminal penalty because with the former “Empire” actor legally innocent of charges that were dropped, there was no penalty to pay.
“You cannot have any criminal penalty, whether it’s jail, probation, conditional discharge … none of that can be ordered on the innocent or presumed innocent or the unadjudicated,” Linn said, Deadline reported.
Linn also noted that Judge Michael Toomin said last year that due to the conduct of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, her office’s entire case against Smollett was invalid.
Prosecutor Sean Wieber said no matter what deal Smollett reached with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, it was not part of any formal plea agreement.
“We know he didn’t participate in [deferred prosecution] and instead they say he effectively complied,” Wieber said.
“But effective compliance is no compliance at all, because there was no actual enrollment.”
Smollett has been recently tweaked on Twitter over the case against him:
I’m old enough to remember that racism in America was SO BAD that Jussie Smollett had to pay his black friends to commit a hate crime. pic.twitter.com/YOBh4q10Zf
— Marky Hutt (@MarkyHutt) June 8, 2020
Remember when Jussie Smollett tried to start a race war based on a lie. The left and the Democrats fueled it by jumping on the bandwagon until they found out he lied.
We wonder who wrote that script
Black people please pay attention!
— Diamond and Silk® (@DiamondandSilk) June 13, 2020
In rejecting Smollett’s big for the charges against him to be thrown out, Linn said the court records of the day on which Cook County dropped charges against Smollett was highly irregular.
“I don’t know exactly how to describe it,” he said, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“I’ve never quite seen a transcript [or] anything like that. Perhaps clarity will come about that at some later date, there are maybe other people to address that … what didn’t happen is that double jeopardy attached to that proceeding,” he added.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.