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Tipsheet

Judge Tosses Out Racial Hoaxer Jussie Smollett's Double Jeopardy Claim

AP Photo/Paul Beaty

Actor and fake hate crime perpetrator Jussie Smollett suffered a legal setback on Friday. A Cook County judge ruled that new charges filed against the actor do not violate Smollett's constitutional protection against double jeopardy. Back in Mar. 2019, there was bipartisan outrage after Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx abruptly dropped the original 16-felony-count indictment against the actor and wiped his record clean. 

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Following Foxx's recusal from the case -- text messages came to light showing Foxx had communicated with a powerful ally of the Smollett family -- a special prosecutor was appointed to the case. The new prosecutor secured a new six-count indictment charging Smollett with lying to police officers about a fake hate crime he claimed was perpetrated by supporters of President Trump. 

The actor filed a police report claiming he was attacked in Jan. 2019 by two MAGA-hat-wearing thugs who wrapped a noose around his neck and shouted racial and homophobic epithets as they poured chemicals over his body. Smollett's hate crime turned out to be a complete hoax when the two so-called attackers revealed that Smollett had actually hired the duo to stage the fake attack.

Cook County Judge James Linn found that charges against Smollett were never adjudicated and that Smollett has no claim to double jeopardy protection against the new charges. 

"There was no trial in this case, there was no jury empaneled, no witnesses were sworn, no evidence was heard, no guilty pleas were ever entered … nothing like that ever happened," Judge Linn said, as reported by the AP.

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Smollett's fraud cost the city of Chicago a large amount in police resources, including nearly 1900 hours of police overtime work. The City of Chicago has one of the highest crime rates in the nation and is now suing Smollett for more than $130,000 in overtime expenses. 

The AP reports that it's not yet clear when Smollett will stand trial on the new charges.

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