Jussie Smollett Charges Dropped…& I’m Pissed!!!!!

As you’ve likely heard by now, all charges against former Empire Star Jussie Smollett were dropped by Cook County prosecutors in a Chicago criminal courtroom yesterday. You’ve probably heard the facts, however, just in case, here’s an article from yesterday to get you caught up to speed: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/26/arts/television/jussie-smollett-charges-dropped.html
I want to discuss what we learned today and why I am feeling pissed, angered, livid, upset and/or frustrated. During an interview with First Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Joseph Magats, who lead the investigation, he said “I do not believe he (Smollett) is innocent.” In explaining why they dropped charges, Magats said, “Based on all the facts and circumstances, based on his life and criminal background. I mean, we defer and do alternative prosecutions. In the last two years, we’ve done 5,700 other felony cases.” What he didn’t say was that they had any problems with proving their case. So why the heck did Smollett get the deal of the century?
To Mr. Magats, I passionately state in response, “THIS ISN’T YOUR TYPICAL CASE, MR. MAGATS!!!!!! There is nothing typical or average or ordinary about this case Mr. Magats!!!! MR. MAGATS, THE CHARGES IN THIS CASE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DROPPED!!!!!!! YOU SCREWED UP, SIR!!!”
Ok, I’ll try not to shout again. My tone is completely and thoroughly warranted though. I’ve been a prosecutor and/or criminal defense attorney, and/or adjunct law professor for over 25 years and I am 100% of the belief that this was a miscarriage of justice. It reeks of the image of impropriety. It should anger anyone who is being intellectually honest while comparing this case to others.
Yes, first time offenders generally deserve different treatment than those who have re-offended. Yes, if there’s a close call to be made, I generally believe that someone should be given a break so that their lives aren’t ruined. THIS, HOWEVER, IS NOT A CLOSE CALL!!! This case can’t plausibly be analogized to a first time offender who gets charges dropped because he possessed a small amount of a controlled substance. Nor can this case be compared to a first time offender who steals some items from a store to provide for his family. What Smollett did goes beyond reprehensible. Some of the aggravating factors in this case include, but are not limited to: The hundreds of precious police man hours wasted pursuing his bogus and outrageous claims during weeks that saw 20 murders and numerous shootings in Chicago; The fact that future victims of racial and/or homophobic acts will face greater scrutiny; and that his public comments unnecessarily tarnished the Chicago PD. Smollett still gets to spew his “I’m a victim” crap. It’s so offensive and was so avoidable had prosecutors only done what was right.
Legally, Smollett remains “innocent” because prosecutors chose not to prove the case in a court of law. Factually, he is not innocent. Prosecutors had a provable case that they should never have dropped. They had extraordinary evidence including the testimony of the two he hired, all corroborated by things like cell phone records showing communication with his alleged attackers before the alleged hate crime was committed. They had the $3500 check he wrote to the muscularly ripped knuckleheads who conspired with Smollett to carry out this hoax. Their case was awesome!
Aristotle defined justice as, “Like cases being treated alike.” Well, it’s clear to me that there is no justice in this case. The entire thing stinks and, like the chief of the Chicago Police Department as well as the mayor, I’m pissed about it. You should be too.