The verdict in the case of Jussie Smollett is in.
Smollett, 39, has been accused of staging the January 2019 hate crime against himself. He was facing six counts of disorderly conduct for filing false police reports. The maximum punishment Smollett was facing was three years in prison.
The trial faced dramatic twists and turns. At one point, two of Smollett’s attorneys tried to declare a mistrial after accusing Judge James Linn of “snarling” and “lunging” at them.
During the trial, Smollett objected to the use of the N-word being frequently spoken by the prosecution when reading his text messages, and, at one point, Smollett and prosecutor Dan Webb argued over how to use the Instagram app.
The jury deliberated for nine hours: two hours on Wednesday and seven hours on Thursday, before reaching a decision. On Thursday night, the jury finally returned to the courthouse with a verdict of guilty on five out of six counts of disorderly conduct.
Smollett walking in for verdict pic.twitter.com/8KL9ilmH2e
— Matt Finn (@MattFinnFNC) December 9, 2021
Prosecution Made A Strong Closing Argument
Many felt that the prosecution had made a strong closing argument on Wednesday afternoon, which lasted over five hours. The prosecution accused Smollett of lying while under oath when denying that he had any involvement in the attack.
In one instance, Webb undermined Smollett’s credibility when he pointed to the noose that was allegedly tied around Smollett’s neck by his attackers. During an interview with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” shortly after the attack, Smollett said that he had kept the rope around his neck while waiting for police to arrive.
However, while under oath, Smollett testified that he took off the rope after the attack and then put it back on when waiting for police to arrive.
He also pointed to the fact that Smollett withheld medical, DNA, and cell phone evidence from police as further proof of his guilt.
Contradicting Testimony Leaves Fans Cold
Although cameras were not allowed in the courtroom, reporters were still allowed inside to provide the public with continuous updates of events as they unfolded. However, even his strongest supporters started to doubt Smollett’s contradictory statements and took to social media to share their concerns.
“His story keeps changing,” one fan noted. “Are people forgetting about his long interview where he even says he didn’t know who attacked him?”
“The only way he could have clawed back any respect was to fully own up and take full responsibility,” wrote another. “Not only is he a liar, he’s an absolute weasel.”
“Acts like this are a HUGE problem for an already polarized society,” another noted. “Those saying he isn’t a threat to society have not been paying attention, racism and bigotry aren’t tools for you to use to your own benefit. Disgusting. Not saying he should be in prison but he’s sure as h— a menace to society at this point.”
“The sheer audacity of this guy to go on the stand and lie with such a brazenly bizarre story speaks to the level of arrogance and delusion to which he’s stepped,” said another.
Another commented, “You can’t have a character assassination when he is lacking any character.”
Even after the trial has faded from headlines, it’s clear that Smollett’s Hollywood acting career might have vanished along with the rest of his credibility.