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Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx wrote an op-ed, following the explosive sentencing of actor Jussie Smollett on Thursday for staging a hate crime hoax in 2019, venting her outrage, calling it a “kangaroo prosecution” while referring to those involved as a “mob.”
Foxx charged that the trial was “damaging, costly, and disingenuous criminal prosecution” and that it proved “the system can be easily manipulated in furtherance of thinly veiled political agendas.”
She claimed in the Chicago Sun-Times op-ed that Smollett’s prosecution could ultimately serve as “a deterrent to the next generation of prosecutors eager to fight for critical reforms.”
“It pains me deeply to say that, in this particular case, our justice system failed,” Foxx wrote.
Kim Foxx doubles down on her office’s decision to drop Smollett’s charges https://t.co/3usAGHLP8O
— Matt Finn (@MattFinnFNC) March 11, 2022
Awww Kimmie, TOO BAD. Someone cleaned up your mess.
— Skyball Chavelli (@Skyball4) March 11, 2022
“Given the reputational price Smollett paid, the $10,000 bond we held, and the fact that he’d never been accused of a violent crime, my office made the decision not to further pursue a criminal conviction. This story should have ended there, as thousands upon thousands of non-prosecuted cases do every day,” she bitterly asserted.
“Instead, taxpayers have since spent millions of dollars for the criminal prosecution of a hoax. Last year alone there were over 800 murders in Chicago. My administration has vacated over 177 wrongful convictions, 87 of those in the last 3 years. Rather than working collaboratively to stem rising crime or free the wrongly convicted, a small group of people hijacked the judicial system to enact what is best described as mob justice,” Foxx contended.
Then she pulled the race card once more, claiming that those criticizing her for deciding not to investigate Smollett did so due to racism and sexism. She posited that other “black women elected prosecutors around the country have faced the same mob mentality.”
“In Smollett’s case, the mob was relentless, organized and effective. A judge appointed a special prosecutor with an unlimited budget to reopen the investigation into a nonviolent Hollywood actor, a complete disregard for the discretion that prosecutors must have to be effective and independent,” she groused coming unglued in a similar fashion to Smollett after being sentenced.
In light of the Jussie Smollett conviction and sentencing, shouldn’t Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx now resign?
— Sean Thornton (@SeanTho98192182) March 11, 2022
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 11, 2022
“Just because we do not like the outcome should not mean we bully prosecutors and circumvent the judicial process to get it changed. Smollett was indicted, tried and convicted by a kangaroo prosecution in a matter of months. Meanwhile, the families of more than 50 black women murdered in Chicago over the last 20 years await justice,” Foxx proclaimed not seeming to realize that the lack of prosecutions for those women falls directly in her lap.
Former Cook County Judge Dan Locallo remarked that Foxx’s commentary amounts to an “attempt to divert any discussion as to why her office acted in the manner that they did.”
Locallo, who was also a Cook County prosecutor, commented that he couldn’t recall another case where a suspect had their charges dropped without notice so soon after being indicted by a grand jury. Judge Michael Toomin appointed Webb to the case six months after that action was taken.
“Dan Webb explained his findings and he took the appropriate action to indict Smollett again, contrary to Kim Foxx giving no explanation and suddenly the charges are dropped,” Locallo charged. “Who’s acting like a kangaroo court?”
Kim Foxx has so thoroughly debased the integrity of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office that we’ll be dealing with the blowback for years to come, and no matter how hard she tries to rewrite history in her favor, this will be her everlasting legacy. pic.twitter.com/pWgMVIDAeZ
— Cook County ASA (@cookcountyasa) March 11, 2022
“Smollett was allowed to go free and basically give the finger to the city of Chicago,” Webb asserted when he left the courthouse on Thursday. “Judge Toomin decided that handling of that case was so inappropriate that a special prosecutor needed to be appointed. So I follow the directions of Judge Toomin and not the directions of Kim Foxx.”
Shay Allen, one of Smollett’s attorneys, agreed with Foxx’s assessment that the prosecution was politically motivated.
“The impetus was second-guessing the prosecutor — a progressive, black prosecutor — and to say ‘this old white man can do a better job than you,’” Allen said making it all about race and politics. “And Jussie was caught in the crossfire.”
Smollett was sentenced to 30 months of felony probation. He will spend the first 150 days of his sentence in the Cook County Jail. The actor will also have to fork over $120,106 in restitution and pay a fine of $25,000.
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