A lot of things have been going on with the Jussie Smollett case in the past 24 hours. First of all, yesterday, his California attorney with the big name and reputation, Mark Geragos was implicated in the Nike extortion case that led to the arrest of Michael Avenatti. Geragos was identified by The Washington Post as the unnamed co-conspirator in the extortion attempts against the athletic shoe company.
Geragos has been the defense attorney for many high-profile cases. He defended Scot Peterson in the murder of his wife Laci, Michael Jackson during his child molestation trial, Chris Brown after he beat Rihanna, and many other public people charged with headline grabbing crimes.
The news that Geragos may be co-conspirator was a perceived problem for the Jussie Smollett case. In actuality, Geragos himself was rarely if ever in the courtroom with Jussie Smollett. Further, Geragos, as the go to attorney for celebrities who are guilty of news-making crimes, seemed like a poor choice from the outset. Now, with Geragos in his own hot water, things were looking grim for Jussie Smollett.
Jussie Smollett Needed A Savior.
And he got one in the form of Patricia Brown Holmes. Holmes is a very prominent black, female attorney who practices in Chicago. She is a former judge and has tried cases in state, city, state and federal court as well as state appellate, federal appellate, and state supreme courts. In other words, she knows people. This is the kind of attorney he should have had all along. This is how things get done in Chicago. Not with some California law firm.
So it looks to me like Holmes had a sit down with the prosecutors. I imagine she told them that the likelihood of Jussie Smollett doing any significant jail time is small. Perhaps it was mentioned that a whole lot of resources were being used up in this matter.
The State’s Attorney Statement
The state’s attorney’s office provided this brief statement.
“After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.”
So the state’s attorney agreed to drop the charges in exchange for Jussie Smollett forfeiting the $10,000 cash payment on his $100,000 bond.
Jussie Smollett gave the following statement in the lobby of the Leighton Criminal Court Building:
“I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of. This has been an incredibly difficult time. Honestly, one of the worst of my entire life. But I am a man of faith and I am a man that has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives or the movement through a fire like this. I just wouldn’t. Now I’d like nothing more than to just get back to work and move on with my life. But make no mistakes, I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality and betterment of marginalized people everywhere. “
His Attorney Claims Justice Was Served
Smollett’s attorney, Patricia Brown Holmes, said the defense reached no deal with prosecutors. She lied. She claims her innocent client has been exonerated.
“Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him. Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgement.”
“Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions.This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion. That is wrong. It is a reminder that a victim, in this case Jussie, deserves dignity and respect. Dismissal of charges against the victim in this case was the only just result. Jussie is relieved to have this situation behind him and is very much looking forward to getting back to focusing on his family, friends and career.”
Why Were All The Records Sealed?
So the state’s attorney agreed to drop the charges in exchange for Jussie Smollett forfeiting the $10,000 cash payment on his $100,000 bond. So not only does he skate on the charges, but everything is also sealed. Marinate on that.
A Whitewash of Justice
Eddie Johnson the Superintendent of Chicago Police is furious. He says Jussie Smollett wanted a trial with cameras in the courtroom then he took the coward’s way out and made a deal.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel says that the payment of $10,000 doesn’t come close to the costs to this city. He also says the ethical costs to the city, gay men and women, people of faith, and all backgrounds will suffer from Jussie Smollett’s action. He says no one else would ever get this kind of treatment. He was indicted by a grand jury on sixteen counts. He says the decision is wrong. Full stop. He commends the officers on their investigation.
This is some bullshit. Thoughts?
Sidenote, WordPress was having some serious issues today and went down on me for about half an hour during this. Great timing, huh? I’ve used up all my bad words for the week.