Judge tosses out Jussie Smollett's double jeopardy claim
CHICAGO (AP) - A Cook County judge shot actor Jussie Smollett's attempt to drop the lawsuit against him on Friday, notifying the actor that the new charges against him will not violate his double risk right.
Smollett's lawyers raised the double-risk argument after a special prosecutor filed charges against six people for lying to the police for a racist and anti-gay attack that the police allegedly staged. The new case came months after the district attorney's office suddenly announced that it would drop the charges against the actor, upset the police, and town hall.
As Judge James Linn saw it, the double danger would only exist if Smollett were legally punished for what had happened to him since he was charged in downtown Chicago with the January 2019 incident. But Linn found that the deal, where the prosecutor agreed to drop the charges without having to admit wrongdoing, and Smollett agreed to forfeit his $ 10,000 bond was not a legal punishment .
"In this case, there was no trial, there was no jury, no witnesses were sworn in, no evidence was heard, no guilt was ever brought ... nothing of the sort happened," said Linn of the 2019 case Decision on this case. "
Smollett claims he went home on early January 29, 2019, when two masked men came up to him, committed racist and homophobic insults, beat him, and put a noose around his neck before he escaped. He said his attackers, at least one of whom was described as white, told him he was in "MAGA country" - a reference to President Donald Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again".
Weeks later, the story, which has already received international media attention, took a shocking turn when the police claimed that Smollett, who is black and openly gay, paid two black friends $ 3,500 to help him carry out the attack because he was was unsatisfied with his salary as an actor "Empire" is followed by a Fox series about a black family navigating through the ups and downs of the recording industry. Smollett was accused of using the program to promote his career.
Months after local prosecutors made their impressive announcement that they were dropping charges, a judge last August appointed Dan Webb, a former U.S. attorney, to investigate why these original charges were dropped.
Smollett was charged again in February. He has kept his innocence.
It was not immediately clear when Smollett could face trial. At the same time, Smollett is battling a city lawsuit paying over $ 130,000 in overtime to officials involved in the investigation of his report.
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