by Madeline Buckley at Chicago Tribune
An Illinois appeals court on Friday ruled that the sentence and conviction against Jussie Smollett should stand, turning another page in the years-old, infamous case.
Seeking to overturn a sentence and conviction for falsely reporting a hate crime to Chicago police in January of 2019, attorneys for the former “Empire” actor alleged a lengthy laundry list of violations in the case handled by special prosecutor Dan Webb after the Cook County state’s attorney’s office controversially dropped all charges.
In a 2-1 decision, appeals court judges largely rejected the arguments, finding that, among other issues, Cook County prosecutors’ decision to drop charges did not constitute a nonprosecution agreement with Smollett. Justice Freddrenna Lyle, though, dissented, arguing that “Smollett gave up something of value, community service and bond forfeiture, in exchange for a nolle of the whole indictment.”
It was not immediately clear on Friday whether Smollett would petition the Illinois Supreme Court to take his appeal. If the actor declines to continue to fight the conviction, or if the high court decides against taking the case, the appeals court would remand the case back to the trial court for Smollett to serve his sentence.
“We’re getting down to near the end of the road, which is rewarding,” Webb told the Tribune.
Requests for comment from Smollett’s attorney were not immediately returned.
Webb also released a statement following the opinion’s release,…