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-   -   All Charges Against Jussie Smollett Dropped (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=873033)

RickJay 03-26-2019 11:28 AM

All Charges Against Jussie Smollett Dropped
 
With no previous indication that this was planned, Cook County had all charges against Jussie Smollett dismissed:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...326-story.html

This has got to be the weirdest true crime case in the history of crime.

Chefguy 03-26-2019 11:32 AM

WTF? The two brothers admitted that he paid them to do this, and now the lawyer is talking about how these were "tragic" charges against this guy? Somebody got paid.

jayjay 03-26-2019 11:53 AM

He apparently forfeited his bond and had community service, so it sounds more like some sort of plea deal than an actual vindication, although of course his lawyers are spinning it as exactly that. I have no understanding of what actually happened here, even after reading three different articles on it this morning.

manson1972 03-26-2019 12:21 PM

The article on Foxnews.com had this to say:

"Doubt was cast on the open-and-shut nature of the case when Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham wrote the Justice Department following reports that Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx asked Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to let the FBI investigate Smollett's allegations that he was attacked by two masked men after the former chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama allegedly informed Foxx that Smollett's family had concerns about the probe"

Can anybody follow that?

Shodan 03-26-2019 12:24 PM

:shrugs: He still did it.

Regards,
Shodan

Annie-Xmas 03-26-2019 12:27 PM

My jaw just dropped. And in other news, the murders of Nichole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman are still unsolved.

Joey P 03-26-2019 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chefguy (Post 21558030)
WTF? The two brothers admitted that he paid them to do this, and now the lawyer is talking about how these were "tragic" charges against this guy? Somebody got paid.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jayjay (Post 21558081)
He apparently forfeited his bond and had community service, so it sounds more like some sort of plea deal than an actual vindication, although of course his lawyers are spinning it as exactly that. I have no understanding of what actually happened here, even after reading three different articles on it this morning.

Assuming that it was, in fact, a plea deal. I wonder if it can or would be reversed if he or his lawyers start trashing the police in the media.

bobot 03-26-2019 12:35 PM

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...t=oft12aH-1la1
"Moments after Judge Steven Watkins allowed the dismissal, attorneys for Smollett issued a statement.
"Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him,Ē the statement said. ďJussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th."
Wow, they're still going with "it actually happened".
I figured if he plead guilty and repaid the cost of the investigation then they'd work with him. Surprising, for sure.

Roderick Femm 03-26-2019 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by manson1972 (Post 21558140)
The article on Foxnews.com had this to say:

"Doubt was cast on the open-and-shut nature of the case when Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham wrote the Justice Department following reports that Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx asked Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to let the FBI investigate Smollett's allegations that he was attacked by two masked men after the former chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama allegedly informed Foxx that Smollett's family had concerns about the probe"

Can anybody follow that?

Here's my take: the Smollett family was concerned about the validity of the local police investigation, so the State's Attorney wanted to call in the FBI. The head of the police union wrote to the Justice Department objecting to any criticism being directed towards the local police investigation. The State's Attorney's desire to call in the FBI is casting doubt on the iron-clad nature of the local police case against Mr. Smollett. Mention of Michelle Obama is just gratuitous Obama-bashing by Fox and is irrelevant.

RickJay 03-26-2019 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by manson1972 (Post 21558140)
The article on Foxnews.com had this to say:

"Doubt was cast on the open-and-shut nature of the case when Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham wrote the Justice Department following reports that Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx asked Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to let the FBI investigate Smollett's allegations that he was attacked by two masked men after the former chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama allegedly informed Foxx that Smollett's family had concerns about the probe"

Can anybody follow that?

Is this some kind of English assignment? That sentence is almost as confusing as... well, as the case.

pool 03-26-2019 12:43 PM

No surprise here, rich and famous people have their own special rights when it comes to the judicial system.

planetcory 03-26-2019 12:45 PM

I mean, the attack was clearly a hoax, but maybe a hoax organized outside of his knowledge? It's easy to say, 'he told us to do it,' when you're caught and desperately looking for an out.

sciurophobic 03-26-2019 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jayjay (Post 21558081)
He apparently forfeited his bond and had community service, so it sounds more like some sort of plea deal than an actual vindication, although of course his lawyers are spinning it as exactly that. I have no understanding of what actually happened here, even after reading three different articles on it this morning.

Sounds like what Robert Kraft was offered

Robert Kraft offered deal by Florida

puddleglum 03-26-2019 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by manson1972 (Post 21558140)
The article on Foxnews.com had this to say:

"Doubt was cast on the open-and-shut nature of the case when Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham wrote the Justice Department following reports that Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx asked Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to let the FBI investigate Smollett's allegations that he was attacked by two masked men after the former chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama allegedly informed Foxx that Smollett's family had concerns about the probe"

Can anybody follow that?

Smolett's family is influential in politics. One of their friends is Tina Tchen, who was the chief of staff to Ms Obama.
Ms Tchen asked Kim Foxx to ask the FBI to take over the case because the family had concerns with how the police department was handling it. When news of this got out, Mr Graham wrote the Justice Department that the police were doing a fine job and the FBI was not needed.

TriPolar 03-26-2019 12:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sciurophobic (Post 21558200)
Sounds like what Robert Kraft was offered

Robert Kraft offered deal by Florida

Nothing like it. The charges were totally dismissed, he's not in any jeopardy at the moment. Obviously there will be more to this story.

PastTense 03-26-2019 12:54 PM

From TMZ:
Quote:

We're told the State's Attorney, Kim Foxx, told Chicago police she was dropping the case because Jussie would have only gotten community service if convicted and she said he has already performed community service so there is no point in prosecuting him. We could not find any record of Smollett doing community service.

We're told Chicago police are "furious" and feel something untoward is going on with Kim Foxx.
https://www.tmz.com/2019/03/26/jussi...ped-dismissed/

Quote:

March 13. Just days after Jussie Smollett told Chicago police he had fought off a pair of attackers who targeted him in an apparent hate crime, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx tried to persuade Police Supt. Eddie Johnson to turn the investigation over to the FBI.

Foxx’s call to Johnson came after an influential supporter of the “Empire” actor reached out to Foxx personally: Tina Tchen, a Chicago attorney and former chief of staff for former First Lady Michelle Obama, according to emails and text messages provided by Foxx to the Chicago Sun-Times in response to a public records request.
https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/re...t-to-kim-foxx/

jayjay 03-26-2019 12:55 PM

It was a $100,000 bond that he forfeited. That's not trivial or pocket change, even for Smollett.

TriPolar 03-26-2019 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jayjay (Post 21558224)
It was a $100,000 bond that he forfeited. That's not trivial or pocket change, even for Smollett.

The article says $10,000. Still a lot, but very bizarre. The state prosecutor has said that he already performed community service but there's no record of that. If they dismissed all charges because he's innocent why would he forfeit the bond?

Ludovic 03-26-2019 01:17 PM

He could have given $10,000 of his own money to a bail bonder, who "temporarily" came up with the rest of it,and now presumably the bonder will want the rest of the money...

jayjay 03-26-2019 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TriPolar (Post 21558256)
The article says $10,000. Still a lot, but very bizarre. The state prosecutor has said that he already performed community service but there's no record of that. If they dismissed all charges because he's innocent why would he forfeit the bond?

Thanks! I misread that amount, apparently. Still...even $10K is a weird amount to just give up if the CPD would really have no case against him.

HurricaneDitka 03-26-2019 02:01 PM

Rahm's pissed (or at least doing a good job of pretending to be):


Typo Negative 03-26-2019 02:02 PM

I guess they felt that there was nothing to be gained by the spectacle this trial would surely be. And losing would be a disaster. And no city wants the feds poking their noses into the workings of it's police department.

Gatopescado 03-26-2019 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pool (Post 21558196)
No surprise here, rich and famous people have their own special rights when it comes to the judicial system.

Kind of a depressing thought, isn't it?

Dewey Finn 03-26-2019 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pool (Post 21558196)
No surprise here, rich and famous people have their own special rights when it comes to the judicial system.

I don't think he's very rich or particularly famous.

bordelond 03-26-2019 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 21558400)
I don't think he's very rich or particularly famous.

Definitely true about the "not famous" part ... but apparently, Smolett's family is well connected. He exercised what privilege he had available to exercise.

Quercus 03-26-2019 02:31 PM

My best guess is that the DA's office realized as they were preparing that they couldn't actually make the case at trial, for some reason such as critical evidence would be inadmissible at trial (hard to believe Chicago cops would illegally cut corners when getting evidence against an uppity black man, isn't it?), or the way Illinois statutes are written means that nothing he did was actually illegal (or at least there was a strong risk that a judge would decide one of these things).

Of course, the knowledge that this would be a media circus and political hotbed could certainly make the DA extra cautious, as could the argument that he was already appropriately punished by losing $10,000* and being publicly exposed (and of course, being actually punched etc, ).

It's also possible that the DA received some extra political encouragement to be cautious, to the point of dropping what they considered a perfectly good case. You can't believe Rahm about whether the sun is shining, so it's quite possible he didn't want the media attention of a trial.

Finally, it's possible there's new information, but that seems like the third-most-likely possibility, given how minimal the DA statement was.

Loach 03-26-2019 03:05 PM

The angry statement from Rahm and the police superintendent make it clear that no information came out to make them think he is innocent. And Rahm is someone who has no problem throwing his police department under the bus when he wants to. Itís baffling that they were not given a hint this was going to happen beforehand.

PastTense 03-26-2019 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ludovic (Post 21558277)
He could have given $10,000 of his own money to a bail bonder, who "temporarily" came up with the rest of it,and now presumably the bonder will want the rest of the money...

No
Quote:

Illinois is one of 7 states in the country that has no professional bail bond companies....

3 Ways to Get Out of Jail...

D-bond Ė This is the equivalent of a surety bond. If the court decides a secured bond is necessary to ensure the appearance of the defendant, a D-bond will be required. The defendant must post 10 percent of the entire bail amount and can turn to family members or friends to help raise that 10 percent. Itís also possible to use property with a D-bond. The money is paid directly to the Circuit Clerk of Court.
https://stuckinjail.com/article-post...-5-things-know

aceplace57 03-26-2019 03:17 PM

I expected a plea deal with an apology and fine. I find it very surprising that no apology has been given. At least apologize for the hurt he's caused.

Mark Geragos shows again that he's a celebrities best friend when they get in legal trouble.

I bet the Feds never pursue charges for the hate letter Smollett mailed himself either.

He'll soon be back on tv like nothing ever happened.

AjŪ de Gallina 03-26-2019 03:18 PM

Talk about having privilege.

Ike Witt 03-26-2019 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Typo Negative (Post 21558384)
And no city wants the feds poking their noses into the workings of it's police department.

Too late. The issues with Chicago PD go back further than Smollett. Hell, they go back further than Laquan McDonald.

bobot 03-26-2019 03:27 PM

You can take Chicago fearing a media circus of a trial off the table. Chicago doesn't mind those. Former governors, current governors, aldermen, actors, singers, Chicago tries em all.

Jophiel 03-26-2019 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobot (Post 21558552)
You can take Chicago fearing a media circus of a trial off the table. Chicago doesn't mind those. Former governors, current governors, aldermen, actors, singers, Chicago tries em all.

Doesn't mean much. It's less a who than a what. This isn't a political corruption trial or alleged sexual assault by celebrities, it's a socially charged hate crime (or false hate crime) fiasco with little positive potential outcome. At best you say you made an example out of the guy by giving him a fine and having him pick up some litter.

I'm not even saying that he shouldn't be made into an example but it's easy to see where the state attorney's office decided they just wanted to finish this up with minimal fuss.

aceplace57 03-26-2019 03:45 PM

The entire case seemed to hinge on the Osundairo brothers testimony. The video surveillance the cops discovered was supporting evidence.

I'd guess the DA felt their testimony could be impeached. Or perhaps they're loyalties to the prosecution may have shifted? $$$$$, Just some speculation. But, I think they're the key reason charges were suddenly dropped.

Ashtura 03-26-2019 04:06 PM

I never thought this guy was going to see serious jail time (I actually thought he'd get probation), but ALL charges dropped? That's insane.

TriPolar 03-26-2019 04:10 PM

I thought probation and community service were reasonable. So now they think forfeiting his bond and non-existent community service is sufficient punishment. He's obviously not innocent or he wouldn't have forfeited the bond. Something stinks here. This case smelled bad right from the beginning and the odor is getting worse.

Dewey Finn 03-26-2019 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aceplace57 (Post 21558529)
I expected a plea deal with an apology and fine. I find it very surprising that no apology has been given. At least apologize for the hurt he's caused.

Based on what I've read, he never admitted guilt and that's what an apology amounts to.

PastTense 03-26-2019 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jophiel (Post 21558572)
Doesn't mean much. It's less a who than a what. This isn't a political corruption trial or alleged sexual assault by celebrities, it's a socially charged hate crime (or false hate crime) fiasco with little positive potential outcome.

Making false reports to the police is a serious problem. The legal system needs to make it clear to people that this will have negative consequences to them. And this is the biggest false report to the police story in a long time.

What do Dopers see as the economic consequences for Smollett? To what extent will he be blacklisted by the entertainment industry?

Grrr! 03-26-2019 05:13 PM

To be honest, I really don't give a shit that he's getting off scot free.

I do hate that some will use this to say that the Democrats are "the evil".

I'm already seeing the butt hurt on my FB feed. :rolleyes:

D'Anconia 03-26-2019 05:21 PM

The Foxx (fix) is in.

Johnny Ecks 03-26-2019 06:08 PM

If I had to guess, the prosecutor realized that the charges are fairly minor, and if they canít absolutely prove that the money was to fake the attack instead of personal training services, thereís reasonable doubt and a low chance of conviction. Probably not worth the time and attention a failed high profile prosecution would garner.

mbh 03-26-2019 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pool (Post 21558196)
No surprise here, rich and famous people have their own special rights when it comes to the judicial system.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gatopescado (Post 21558385)
Kind of a depressing thought, isn't it?

As I said when O.J. Simpson was acquitted, "Money talks louder than race. I suppose that's an improvement."

Flare4roach 03-26-2019 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PastTense (Post 21558728)
Making false reports to the police is a serious problem. The legal system needs to make it clear to people that this will have negative consequences to them. And this is the biggest false report to the police story in a long time.

What do Dopers see as the economic consequences for Smollett? To what extent will he be blacklisted by the entertainment industry?

I predict he'll be on the cover of some magazines very quickly and hailed as a hero as well.

pulykamell 03-26-2019 06:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flare4roach (Post 21558836)
I predict he'll be on the cover of some magazines very quickly

Not outside the realm of possibility, I suppose, given it's a news story.

Quote:

and hailed as a hero as well.
I doubt this by any mainstream group.

Saint Cad 03-26-2019 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grrr! (Post 21558745)
To be honest, I really don't give a shit that he's getting off scot free.

I do. His false allegations could have gotten two actors imprisoned for assault and hate crimes. A point that seems to have been missed in this deal.

Hampshire 03-26-2019 07:11 PM

If he would have just kept his mouth shut when the charges were dropped and disappeared from the spotlight I probably would have forgotten about it.
But if youíre immediately going to hold a press conference and declare that youíve told the truth from day one you better expect a whole lot of people to challenge you on that.
This guy must have taken a lesson from the Trump life lessons handbook. If youíre not charged with anything you apparently get to make up your own reality.

aceplace57 03-26-2019 07:13 PM

I'll be interested to see what happens on Empire.

Wouldn't be surprised if Smollett returns quietly in a reduced role. Gauge public reaction and maybe build his role back up.

The Empire's staff meetings must be pretty heated. Could go either way with Jussie.

Magiver 03-26-2019 07:28 PM

I saw a (the?) prosecutor on the news and he said non-violent offenders generally aren't prosecuted. He went on to say it didn't exonerate him of the charges. When asked if he thought he was guilty he said yes.

It would be interesting if Chicago billed him for the investigation.

Loach 03-26-2019 07:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magiver (Post 21558958)
I saw a (the?) prosecutor on the news and he said non-violent offenders generally aren't prosecuted. He went on to say it didn't exonerate him of the charges. When asked if he thought he was guilty he said yes.

It would be interesting if Chicago billed him for the investigation.

Iím sure the Chicago police will be happy to hear they no longer have to investigate any crimes that donít involve violence. That will really cut down on the workload. Itís also a complete crock of shit. Iím hearing from a lot of Chicago cops and thatís not the case at all. Heís just making shit up on the fly.

KidCharlemagne 03-26-2019 07:59 PM

It's enough of an outrageous that he wasn't prosecuted, but the fact that he's claiming he's been vindicated and that we all rushed to judgement is insane. Fuck this country.


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