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Dismissal of Smollett case brings backlash, more questions

47 Comments
By MICHAEL TARM and AMANDA SEITZ

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47 Comments

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From a legal point of view, the Osundairo brothers were the case, and if they either refused to testify or if there is so much dirt on them that the jury would not believe them, then the prosecutor may have had to drop the case.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is very unusual for this type of offence to be dismissed so cleanly.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The decision is totally of a piece with what he’s done and what he represents. There’s no disguising the stench of rancid and rotting liberalism.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

And is Trump going to get on Twitter to complain about TV stars making up crap to stir up racial tensions? I think not--cuts a little too close to home, especially since Trump and Smollett are the two reasons the phrase "this does not exonerate him" were in the news this week.

@Reckless--the Osundairo brothers are possibly the only winners in this story. One of them became a pro boxer and won a fight already. Just as long as the feds don't go after them to save face, their days of committing fake felonies for a meager paycheck should be behind them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@oyatoi--Smollett forfeited a $10,000 bond as part of the agreement. Probably just the reality that wasting resources prosecuting a rich actor for a victim-less hoax is not the purpose of a prosecutor's office.

But if you are into these kinds of cases, look at parallel one that happened in Minnesota this winter where a conservative activist sent himself fake death threats and lied to police about it to try to tarnish Ilhan Omar. That one could turn into a real criminal case because it is a hoax with a real victim (the congresswoman).

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Among those sure to keep pressing for answers is Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who appeared blindsided by the decision. 

“Blindsided”? That indeed is an accomplishment if true. It seems someone really wanted Smollett out and I’m certain it wasn’t Trump ... then again, it would be a fantastic mind****.

This stinks of big money and influence. If Emanuel isn’t involved you might persuade me that as yet low-profile elements of either the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party or Socialists posing as Democrats are poised to seize control of the levers of power in the party. That kind of seizure took HRC a number of years. Why not another group? Bye-bye Nancy!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I had to go to the US consulate today and this was the top story on CNN, which I never watch. The theme music, hushed voices, garish graphics--all that you'd expect from our tabloid mainstream media. This should be left to the NY Daily News. That it's gotten this much traction is beyond depressing.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Pretentious jerk. He will get what is coming to him another way.

I would not be my mother's son if I was capable of one drop of what I was being accused of,"

1 ( +6 / -5 )

He may have avoided legal trouble on a state of Illinois level.

But he is still at risk of facing federal charges, particularly mail fraud:

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/chicago-police-jussie-smollett-alleged-hoax-letter-case-handed-over-to-fbi?fbclid=IwAR0Qg3lykgMny6-zK79-8cm_WzNxhdtncearoHYJyGlAJgxj2dtM3V_90hI

1 ( +6 / -5 )

This case does look pretty suspicious. I don't understand why an innocent person would be willing to give up a $10,000 bond. I suppose maybe he'd rather just forget the whole incident, but I think more innocent people than not would want their $10k back.

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The liberal lefty politicians and celebrities are in a quandary - notice the deafening silence from them. The first couple of days after the "attack" there was an avalanche of virtue and support for Smollet from them. They went silent after the reality of the case became clear. And now - with Juisy Smollet shouting victory - they are silent still.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

@Strangerland, props to you for looking at this case objectively.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@Kestrel--the relevant politician to this case is Rahm Emmanuel, the mayor of Chicago. He has vociferously criticized this outcome and defended the police department. He speaks his mind pretty bluntly and convincingly without a bunch of wavering baloney that is stock in trade for politicians nationwide, let alone celebs (there is a hybrid celeb-politician in the White House currently). But you're going to be like Smollett and believe anything you want to without a basis in reality, so carry on.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just goes to show: there's one law for gay African-Americans and another law for the rest of us.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Just goes to show: there's one law for gay African-Americans and another law for the rest of us.

Yeah, b/c no one has benefited more from America's two-tiered justice system than African-Americans. And by rest of us you mean Canadian finance guys living in Japan?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@JeffLee--and how does this single case lead you to such a remarkable conclusion? See what I said earlier about needing a victim to testify that they were harmed for a case to proceed. The only possible victims were the police, but getting their testimony is going to be iffy because they are also the investigators. I guess individual police could sue him for wasting their time or something.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Torafusa,

Not at all. The support and righteous indignation from the left was an avalanche before it became clear that Smollet was orhestrating a hoax. Theyve gone silent now. Im just wondering why.

Even his friend Don Lemon of CNN reluctantly admitted a few days in that Smollet was lying about the whole thing. Lemon stated that, on top of everything else, the temperature was dangerously freezing and anybody out in it was bundled up to the point of being unrecognizable. Yet the two MAGA maniacs instantly recognized Juisy.

Then there is the store video of the brothers buying the goods they used in the "attack" a few days beforehand. The list of evidence goes on and on.

Honestly, with all the shocking weirdness of the latest twist in this case Im not even sure Rahm Emmanuel is on the level.

Kamala Harris - a friend of Juisy just commented that shes "confused" by the dropping if charges.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

What isn't stated is that when cases intersect on a federal level and a state level, the States courts typically turn the case over completely to the federal level. These actions are very normal. Nothing about this is new. A person being tried at different levels over similar or connected cases could create a double jeopardy ruling if they beat one of the cases.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Kestrel--well, if your claim that Smollett is friends with many key media and political figures is true, then I guess your conclusion is it pays to be part of the elite tier of U.S. society. Mind blowing realization that will make you look at history in a new light, I'm sure.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Friends in "low" places.

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Just because there are no charges does not necessarily mean it's an exoneration - it can just mean the prosecutors do not believe they have a high enough chance that they can convict him thru a jury of peers

Heheh, everybody in the States knows that

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Kamala Harris: "Juisy Smollet is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know." Tweeted in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

make that, "attack".

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

As one poster said, isn’t Smollett facing a federal charge involving use of the US mail to perpetrate a fraud? Someone will have to dig deep in his pockets to spring him from that.

What I don’t understand is why people are so surprised about this matter.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Just goes to show: there's one law for gay African-Americans and another law for the rest of us.

Who is the rest of us?

Do you think that all posters here are WASPs?

He's been exonerated of all charges, just like your white supremacist leader.

Not sure why the fuss about it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Pretentious jerk. He will get what is coming to him another way.

Thinly veiled advocation of violent retribution. Just imagine if someone said the same thing about Trump who's also been, er, exonerated.

Love it when the mask slips.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Another miscarriage of justice.

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This should be left to the NY Daily News. That it's gotten this much traction is beyond depressing.

True. The rightists are blowing a fuse though. That’s quite funny.

It does have a tabloid feel to it. One poster has gone full gutter press by posting a link to Fox News.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

He's been exonerated of all charges,

16 felony charges and we won’t know because the documents are sealed. Thank God The FBI is now investigating this.

just like your white supremacist leader. 

What? Lol...anyway, he was brutally hounded by 15 angry Trump conservative hating Democrats, although unfair by not having a single Republican on the team and after a two year exhaustive investigation, they found No collusion.

Smollett on the other hand, no investigation got even underway.

Not sure why the fuss about it.

With all due respect, You’re not an American, you didn’t grow up in Chicago and don’t know how this game is played with these politicians. But for those of us who grew up in the States and in the Streets and know the system, it smells. I don’t agree with anything Rahm Emanuel says to thinkd politically, but on this, he is 100% correct. This is a Whitewash of our justice system and now there’s more suspicion going on with his ties to Don Lemon, Michelle Obama, this just absolutely stinks, the man tried to start a race riot, he embarrassed everyone, including the Black community. The guy is selfish trash. I’ll mkae sure to boycott his show....never liked it anyway to begin with..

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Just in - The lead prosecuter in the Smollett case: " Smollett feels we have exonerated him, we have not. I cant make it any clearer than that."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Trump was exonerated after 22 months of investigation. This guy paid some money and spent 2 days of “community service” talking about himself.

Why do liberals alrways see violence? Life/karma will give him what he deserves. Just like Avenatti and others. You reap what you sow.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

For the streetwise Angeleno, personal experience means learning to navigate the hardcore world of... onsen in Kyushu Japan???

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Again, the lead prosecuter to CNN today: "We believe Smollett did what he was charged with doing."

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

With all due respect, You’re not an American, you didn’t grow up in Chicago and don’t know how this game is played with these politicians.

Neither did you, yet you comment on international affairs. Why should your comments be seen as more valid than the rest of us? JT may have a large US demographic but it's not solely about, or catered to Americans.

Personal experience

And yet you dismiss personal experiences of people from Europe, the Middle East, Ireland, the UK, Africa, Scandanavia and numerous countries/regions. Why?

Just be honest, a chara, a liberal black American has been exonerated from all charges and you don't like it. But a WASP PotUS has also been exonerated (from some, not all) charges and you like it.

Odd, that.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I think a jury would need to see a victim of Smollett's actions. Is the prosecutor going to call "society" to the stand to testify? Otherwise the jury is going to doubt the need to proceed. It's not criminally illegal to lie in a lot of situations after all. Maybe Trump could make his next emergency declaration combat the lying epidemic!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Neither did you, yet you comment on international affairs.

But LA is a close second, so I do actually.

Why should your comments be seen as more valid than the rest of us?

What? No one said or implied that.

And yet you dismiss personal experiences of people from Europe, the Middle East, Ireland, the UK, Africa, Scandanavia and numerous countries/regions.

I don’t.

Just be honest, a chara, a liberal black American has been exonerated from all charges and you don't like it. But a WASP PotUS has also been exonerated (from some, not all) charges and you like it.

Odd, that.

The only one talking about color and race is you. Very sad.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Its OK. The next Democrat in the White House would have pardoned him anyway.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

With all due respect, You’re not an American, you didn’t grow up in Chicago and don’t know how this game is played with these politicians.

I grew up in Chicago and corruption is part of life there.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"The charges were dropped in return for Mr Smollett's agreement to do community service and forfeit his $10,000 bond to the City of Chicago.

Didn't the story say $100,000 yesterday?

Ok, so the more I think about this, the more sense what the DA did makes sense. The only violence was against Smollett, at his request. We are unhappy because someone abused his standing in 2 protected groups, but in the "justice is blind" world, this crime was fairly minor. Nobody else lost anything. $10K and community service is reasonable to reform this man. For the rest of his life, his name will be a verb - is he smolletting us? That will be punishment enough. He will probably end up working in a laundry cleaning shop.

Lying to the world isn't a crime.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No one should be surprised by the continuing decline of America’s once great cities. There is little doubt that the justice system failed in Chicago because the popular politically correct culture demanded it. In America there is an irrational yet growing belief that people who are victims, basically everyone except white heterosexual males, cannot be held to account for their wrongs because the system is guilty of oppressing them. Expect to see more of this and a backlash to it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Super: Its OK. The next Democrat in the White House would have pardoned him anyway.

Good point.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Obviously, a fake attack was planned, but while waiting for it to happen, a real attack that mirrored the fake plan occurred. Obviously.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To those of you interested in the truth, I suggest that you read the 4 page indictment of Smollette. Much more informative than the previous , uninformed articles by JT. This is so very troubling on so many levels. Though Jussie seems to have "slipped the noose" yet again, I'm confidant that he will eventually "hang from the gibbet" and be left to "twist in the wind ". Everyone wants Jussie Served. No honor. No shame. No apologies. Nowhere to go.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Strangerland

Smollett forfeited 10K AND has to do community service. In turn:

10K is not much to make a case go away. An innocent person could possibly chose to pay it just to walk away, considering experienced defense lawyers in the big city cost upwards $1000 per hour. That adds up mighty fast. Because innocent people often settle, guilty people are more than happy to pay and make a case go away (see Trump University). Paying the 10K can result either from Smollet's guilt or from his innocence.

Not many innocent people, however, are willing to do community service. That demonstrates guilt. Given this, taking these two together with facts we all think we know, the police insistence of culpability, and taking the Smollett's uncharacteristic-of-a-victim behavior immediately following the alleged attack can lead one to fairly conclude Smollett appears guilty.

But, and this is really important, the appearance of guilty and being guilty beyond reasonable doubt are not the same thing. Understanding and appreciating that difference is the bedrock of the American criminal justice system. The state has the burden of showing guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. And doing that is hard -- if ( and boy is it a big if) you can afford a legal defense. If you can't, it's easy.

In my experience, prosecutors prefer prosecuting 'easy' cases, and resist taking chances with strong but not iron-clad ones. A good defense team can make even 'easy' cases hard to prosecute, not in the least because it costs money to prosecute someone, and the more money a defendant has, the more money it costs to prosecute. Prosecutor's will settle an easy case in the face of a strong legal team. Celebrity/pubic figure defendants are all the more problematic because the public interest in the case exposes the underside of our criminal justice system and gets political. ( You can see the highly partisan approach many here have taken. They don't care about Smollett's guilt or innocence -- they care about scoring political points. This is typical)

In short, I don't know if Smollett is guilty or not. He seems to be, and I think enough of the public shares this opinion, and so I doubt he will be back on Tee Vee anytime soon. Still, enough og America loves a sinner who has found god, so a wouldn't say he will go away for ever.

BTW, yesterday I erred when I posted Smollett's lawyer admits that Smollett hired the two brothers to 'attack' him. Smollett lawyer has not challenged it was the two brothers who 'tussled' with Smollett. A difference with a distinction.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Strangerland

Smollett forfeited 10K AND has to do community service. In turn:

10K is not much to make a case go away. An innocent person could possibly chose to pay it just to walk away, considering experienced defense lawyers in the big city cost upwards $1000 per hour. That adds up mighty fast. Because innocent people often settle, guilty people are more than happy to pay and make a case go away (see Trump University). Paying the 10K can result either from Smollet's guilt or from his innocence.

Not many innocent people, however, are willing to do community service. That demonstrates guilt. Given this, taking these two together with facts we all think we know, the police insistence of culpability, and taking the Smollett's uncharacteristic-of-a-victim behavior immediately following the alleged attack can lead one to fairly conclude Smollett appears guilty.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@blacksabbath

(see Trump University)

You do realize that Trump had nothing to do with that nefarious operation and only sold his name to it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Its OK. The next Democrat in the White House would have pardoned him anyway.

An Empire actor? Maybe If Michelle is President. Lol

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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