Newell: Justice is blind, possibly stupid and now maybe deceptive too

Newell Normand
March 29, 2019 - 3:28 pm

This Jussie Smollett case is disturbing on so many fronts.

First the story itself.  Smollett reports an early morning attack by two men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs, tied a rope around his neck, doused him with bleach yelling “its MAGA country!” Serious accusations that, if true, would infuriate anybody with a head or a heart. Serious accusations that fan the flames of an already fiery racial climate in Chicago and America.  Chicago police then launch an investigation only to conclude that the attacks were staged.  Two African American suspects confess to staging the attack after being paid by Smollet. Smollett is arrested on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct, then the case is handed off to the courts…and most people believe, including a grand jury, that a conviction was eminent.

Well, not in today’s twisted reality. The crazy story twists again.

Early on in the case of Jussie Smollett, the Cook County state attorney Kim Foxx indicated she recused herself from the prosecution of the case.  Facts surrounding this case continue to reveal that a full recusal may not have been accomplished. The National District Attorney’s Association issued a statement on best practices saying, “a prosecutor should not take advice from politically connected friends of the accused”…should not recuse herself without recusing the entire office.  They also noted that “a case with the consequential effects of Mr. Smollett’s should not be resolved without a finding of guilt or innocence. “

So much for best practices!  Where are we now?  No recusal.  No formal deferred prosecution. Nothing to make the defendant accept responsibility. Jussie continues to maintain his innocence.  So once again I ask…where are we?

It seems in Chicago they have to abandon the criminal justice system and seek justice for Chicagoans in the civil court system.

Mayor Rahm Emmanuel instructed the Chicago Department of Law to send Smollett a letter to reimburse Chicago’s cost for investigating the hoax incident.  If not paid timely, under a city ordinance, the city is entitled to collect up to three times the amount - $390.000.00.

I totally applaud Mayor Emmanuel for this strategy, however, this may be the end of the criminal justice system in Chicago, or what’s left of it.  The criminal justice system bypassed the court system, bypassed Chicago police, bypassed the mayor and manipulated the criminal justice process in order to achieve a pre-determined outcome.

This is a true case of reality being stranger than fiction.  And, an obvious case of wrongdoing by a supposed victim, who took a whole criminal justice system and a nation for a ride, takes another twist as the FBI looks into the case from all sides.

What a mess!  Jussie Smollett, who weaponized hate for the furtherance of his own career, wants an apology.  The City of Chicago wants its money back. And, President Trump wants an investigation.  And, it’s not just Smollet’s mess or Chicago’s mess…or the FBI’s mess…it’s a mess for all of us!

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