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Jussie Smollett’s Attorneys Seek New Trial After Hate Crime Hoax Conviction

Jussie Smollett sentencing (Brian Cassella-Pool-Getty Images)
Actor Jussie Smollett appears at his sentencing hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on March 10 in Chicago. / Jussie Smollett sentencing (Brian Cassella-Pool-Getty Images

*Attorneys for Jussie Smollett have filed an appeal of his 2021 conviction for staging a racist and homophobic hate crime attack on himself and then lying about it to Chicago police.

The court document argues that “Smollett’s prosecution violated his due process rights, in part by not enforcing what his attorneys describe as a binding non-prosecution agreement,” per MSN, and that Smollett “was subjected to double jeopardy, takes issue with the appointment of a special prosecutor and argues his sentence was excessive, among other things.”

Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail and 30 months probation after being convicted last year of staging the hate crime in January 2019. When the sentence was handed down, Smollett exploded in the courtroom, loudly proclaiming his innocence and suggesting something might happen to him in county jail by repeatedly making clear that he is “not suicidal.”

The former “Empire” star was released from a Chicago jail after serving only six days.

READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Talks Hate Crime Case, Says ‘I’m ‘not A Piece Of S***!’ | Video

Jussie Smollett - Getty
Jussie Smollett – Getty

During the sentencing hearing, Judge James Linn chastised and shamed Smollett, called him a liar, and accused him of committing purgery during his own testimony. The judge also noted that Smollett’s ego and narcissism led to him allegedly plotting the homophobic hate crime.

In his appeal filed on Thursday in the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, Smollett’s lawyers claim “instances of prosecutorial misconduct were clear and egregious,” per the 102-page petition.

“Mr. Smollett’s constitutional rights to due process and to a fair trial were denied by prosecutorial misconduct including allegations that a defense witness was pressured to change his statement … and shifting the burden during closing arguments,” Smollett’s legal team argued.

News that Smollett wants a new trial coincides with the announcement that Fox Nation will feature a new docuseries titled “Anatomy of a Hoax” that will feature new interviews with brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who aided Smollett in his hate crime hoax.

“Anatomy of a Hoax takes a deep dive into a scam that reverberated through the worlds of entertainment, pop culture and politics. We’re excited for viewers to hear the real stories behind this scandal from the Osundairo brothers for the very first time.” John Finley, Fox Nation executive vp, said in a statement.

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