Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx penned an op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times expressing her outrage over the conclusion of actor Jussie Smollett's sentencing hearing on Thursday after being found guilty of staging a hate crime in 2019.
Foxx accused Smollett's trial of being "damaging, costly, and disingenuous criminal prosecution" that showed "the system can be easily manipulated in furtherance of thinly veiled political agendas." It's because of the trial, Foxx said, it resulted in justice being delayed for murder trials:
"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.
"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 further said criticism of her decision to not investigate Smollett stemmed from racism and sexism because 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.
"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."
Smollett was sentenced to 30 months felony probation, the first 150 days of which he will spend in the Cook County Jail, restitution in the amount of $120,106, and a fine of $25,000.