Hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett is headed back to prison after an appeals court on Friday upheld convictions for disorderly conduct after he staged a racist, homophobic attack against himself in 2019.
Smollett's legal team challenged the role of the special prosecutor, jury selection, various pieces of evidence, and other aspects of the case - which did not convince the 3-judge appellate panel in Illinois.
The former "Empire" star was convicted in 2021 on five felony counts of disorderly conduct.
And while most people who aren't actors connected to the Obamas would probably end up doing serious time, Smollett will simply have to finish a 150-day stint in jail. Prior to his appeal, he spent just six days.
Lawyers for Smollett, who is black and gay, have publicly claimed he was the target of a racist justice system and people playing politics.
Appellate Judge Freddrenna Lyle said she would have thrown out Smollett’s convictions. Lyle said it was “fundamentally unfair” to appoint a special prosecutor and charge Smollett when he had already performed community service as part of a 2019 deal with Cook County prosecutors to drop the initial charges.
“It was common sense that Smollett was bargaining for a complete resolution of the matter, not simply a temporary one,” Lyle said. -AP
Smollet was originally slapped with a 16-count indictment for lying to the police, however the Cook County State Attorney's office suddenly dropped the charges after Michelle Obama's former Chief of Staff, Tina Tchen, pressured Chicago's top prosecutor, Kim Foxx, to transfer the case to the FBI. When that wasn't done, Foxx's office decided not to pursue the case.
And while Smollett had spent just six days in the Cook County jail, he was transferred to the psych ward after jail officials were concerned about self-harm.