Jussie Smollett’s Lawyers Appeal Hate Crime Hoax Conviction

(Photo by Chicago Police Department via Getty Images)

Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
Font Size:

Attorneys representing Jussie Smollett appealed his hate crime hoax conviction Wednesday and requested a new trial, CNN reported.

Court documents were filed Wednesday in the Illinois First Judicial District appellate court, raising multiple arguments, including that Smollett’s prosecution allegedly violated his due process rights, partially through not enforcing what they’ve classified as a binding non-prosecution agreement, according to CNN. They argue Smollett was subjected to double jeopardy and excessive sentencing, and have questioned the motive behind appointing a special prosecutor to his case, the outlet noted.

Smollett claimed he was attacked by two men that shouted anti-gay and racist remarks at him before putting a noose around his neck and pouring bleach on him in Chicago in 20219, CNN reported. Police investigated the incident as a hate crime and invested substantial resources in an effort to solve the case.

Authorities reported they believed the hate crime was staged, and cited interviews with the other two men to support their claims, the outlet noted. They alleged Smollett paid the men $3,500 to stage the incident in an effort to gain publicity and boost his career, according to CNN. Smollett’s legal team pushed back by insisting he was a targeted victim. (RELATED: Madonna’s Latest Reinvention Of Herself Is … Coming Out As Gay?)

A jury found the actor guilty on five of six felony counts of disorderly conduct for falsifying a police report, according to CNN. He was sentenced to 30 months of felony probation as well as 150 days in jail, and ordered to pay a fee in excess of $120,000 as well as a $25,000 fine, according to the outlet. He was released in less than a week by way of emergency motion.

Smollett’s attorneys requested a new trial with a new prosecutor. “If Mr. Smollett’s convictions are allowed to stand, this case will set a dangerous precedent by giving prosecutors a second bite at the apple any time there is dissatisfaction with another prosecutor’s exercise of discretion,” Smollett’s attorneys wrote in their appeal, according to CNN.