Tuesday, July 05, 2022|
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Chicago has more important things to worry about, and we have more important things to write about, than the well-connected “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.
His fake hate crime, including a starring victim role, was designed to increase his celebrity and the size of his TV paycheck.
In so doing, he wasted police time, made it more difficult for real victims of these heinous crimes to be believed, made fools out of his fancy supporters on Twitter, and impugned an entire, fair-minded city that had initially risen as one to his defense.
After his attempts to clout his way out of trouble failed, he deservedly stood trial, was judged to be guilty by a jury of his peers on five of six counts and, alas for him, met a judge who clearly found his narrative shtick less than credible.
All the way through, he showed not a smidgen of remorse.
Thus Smollett now finds himself in Cook County Jail.
Judge James Linn doubtless is well aware that, assuming
he behaves himself, Smollett won’t be behind bars for 150 days as sentenced, but should be out of there after a couple of months. Just as the weather gets nice.
That reality of credits for good behavior makes the statement by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx that Linn’s reasonable sentence was indicative of “revenge” all the more ridiculous.
Smollett gets a couple of months to think about his future, a bill that accurately reflects real police overtime costs and an admonition to stay out of trouble.
Plenty of folks without Smollett’s connections and resources face a much tougher justice system, especially those whose crimes came out of poverty, rather than ambition.
And, as we all know from the musical “Chicago,” Smollett’s career hardly is ruined. His name is more familiar than ever. His PR people will know how to craft a narrative of rebirth.
This is revenge? Seems to us like fair treatment.
Foxx, of course, is trying to cover up for her questionable initial decision not to prosecute Smollett, following a couple of well-placed phone calls made to her office on his behalf. She’s trying to downplay the seriousness of his crime for her own political purposes.
And rather than apologize to Chicago for this tawdry business, Smollett’s older brother, Joe, even rolled out the Al Capone cliche to impugn the proceedings and the city in which they were taking place.
The elder Smollett is supporting his family.
But it is unbecoming of the state’s attorney to attack a judge for a sentence in line with what prosecutors sought.
It does not aid the deficit of trust between police officers and her office.
It does not serve the public good, nor the cause that people of all levels of resources should be treated the same way.
Chicagoans are decent, forgiving people. Most of us will wish Smollett some weeks of personal reflection, as prescribed, and then a chance to remake his life and rebuild his career. He might start by saying sorry. And Foxx could do the same.
— Chicago Tribune
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