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Source: Variety / Getty

The conviction against Jussie Smollett for his orchestration of a hate crime against himself five years ago has been upheld by an Illinois court.

On Friday (Dec. 1), the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the disorderly conduct conviction of former Empire actor Jussie Smollett. The three-judge panel voted 2-1 to uphold the conviction. “We wish to highlight that the decision was divided, with Justice Lyle offering a detailed analysis in favor of Smollett,” lawyers representing Smollett said after the decision. “We are preparing to escalate this matter to the Illinois Supreme Court, armed with a substantial body of evidence.” The state Supreme Court will decide whether to hear the case. If they decide not to, Smollett is expected to fulfill the entire 150-day sentence he received in 2022. He had served six days before filing the appeal and obtaining his release.

In the decision, Judge David R. Navarro wrote that Jussie Smollett’s lawyers had challenged “virtually every aspect” of the case, which included the process of selecting the jury, the appointment of a special prosecutor, and the sentence that Smollett’s lawyers said was excessive in their arguments. The legal team also argued that he was being tried for the same crime twice after Cook County prosecutors dropped the original charges, claiming it was a violation of his Fifth Amendment rights against double jeopardy. 

Jussie Smollett would be convicted on five counts of disorderly conduct in 2021 on a set of new charges. He was indicted initially after claiming two men attacked him because he was Black and a gay man in January 2019 after arriving back at his Chicago residence and lying to police about it as a way to attain greater publicity. Smollett would be dropped from his role as Jamal Lyons on the Fox show, Empire, amid the situation.

Justice Freddrenna Lyle dissented, citing that the state should not have re-tried Smollett after the prosecutors dropped the original charges. Special Prosecutor Dan Webb expressed that the decision was a “resounding victory for justice” after being handed down. “We are proud to have prevailed in a case that, we believe, can help restore the public’s confidence in the Cook County justice system,” Webb said to the press. “We hope this decision will reassure the community that our legal system is fair, just, and impartial.”

Jig’s Up 4 Juicy?: Jussie Smollett Loses Hoax Appeal, Jail Sentence Upheld  was originally published on hiphopwired.com