Jussie Smollett ended the year on a sour note after being found guilty on five of the six charges he faced in connection with the claimed attack against him, but his legal battle is far from finished. A new story came recently claiming that the Empire actor is seeking a new trial after his counsel raised concerns about the jury selection process.
Smollett famously claimed he was walking down a Chicago street when he was attacked by two unknown individuals back in 2019. Two guys accosted the actor, threw a noose around his neck, and shouted racial and homophobic slurs, according to the actor.
Authorities accused Smollett of staging the attack for recognition after an investigation by the Chicago Police Department revealed irregularities. Smollett is due to return to court for punishment next month after being found guilty of five counts of disorderly conduct, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Smollett has maintained his innocence throughout.
Meanwhile, according to TMZ, the actor’s lawyers have filed documents asking for the guilty decision to be overturned, claiming that “the court violated his constitutional rights when it prevented his defense team from actively participating in the jury selection process.” Smollett’s legal team “were not allowed to ask questions of potential jurors … and his defense claims the jury pool for the high-profile case was tainted.” according to the outlet.
Prosecutors have also been accused of “showing a pattern of bias in picking jurors” and influencing witnesses to lie on the stand, according to Smollett. The judge should not have kept the journalists out of the courtroom, according to the documents. Only time will tell whether this appeal is successful.
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