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Jussie Smollett’s conviction puts Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx under fire for her initial handling of the case.
In 2019, Foxx tossed charges that Smollett staged a racist, homophobic attack against himself and how they explained the move as public outrage grew. However, a jury recently found Smollett guilty on five counts for falsely reporting a hate crime back in 2019.
In 2020, Foxx says a ruling should require Smollett to admit some wrongdoing after all 16 counts against him were dropped. She maintains his case was dropped just like thousands of other similar cases.
However, special prosecutor Daniel Webb believes that’s not true.
Daniel Webb’s Report
Webb released the remainder of his report Monday, accusing Foxx and others of making false statements on multiple instances. A portion of it was released in 2020, which includes the report’s major conclusions. Webb believes that some of her office’s actions may be in violation of legal ethics.
Nevertheless, the report finds no criminal offenses against Foxx.
Webb states, “The fact that such a significant mischaracterization could be asserted without sufficient vetting … is unacceptable for an office that must be transparent and maintain public confidence. Moreover, Foxx’s change of position on the strength of the evidence against Smollett was also deemed improper by Webb.
After dropping the charges, she wrote in a Chicago Tribune editorial that the chances of a conviction were uncertain. Webb concluded that the pivot was “false and misleading.”
The office of the state’s attorney said Monday that it remains “steadfast that the office acted within its broad prosecutorial discretion.”
“A prosecutor’s discretion is as broad as any in the law, and differences of opinion as to how a case was handled do not signify an abuse of discretion,” the statement says.
Smollett was also investigated by Webb, who in 2020 helped get Smollett indicted on additional charges for lying to police.
The attorney for Smollett is pledging to appeal Smollett’s conviction. He still maintains his innocence.