Washington Post Column: Jussie Smollett is “Just Another Black Man Serving Time-in a System More Perverted than his Crime.”

Cook County Sheriff’s Office
The Washington Post yesterday ran a column by MSNBC Legal Analyst and Georgetown Law Professor Paul Butler that argued that the incarceration of actor Jussie Smollett for 150 days is a miscarriage of justice fueled by racism. Butler declares that Smollett is “just another Black man serving time — in a system more perverted than his crime.” The Washington Post column repeats a number of legal assertions that have been refuted by the special investigator, prosecutors, the court, and others about the case.The Smollett case continues to generate good-faith debates over its meaning and implications for the legal system. Professor Butler has long advocated reforms in that system, including his call for Black jurors to engage in jury nullification in some cases involving Black defendants. Butler wrote in the Washington Post in 2016: “Confronting the racial crisis in criminal justice, jury nullification gives jurors a special power to send the message that black lives matter.”

However, the Washington Post column would, in my view, leave readers with a strikingly false impression of the facts and findings in the case.

At the outset, it is important to note that Professor Butler acknowledges that he does not think Smollett told the truth about being the victim of a hate crime.  Moreover, the fact that Smollett was originally given a plea in exchange for dropping further prosecution is notable. There is a legitimate concern when any defendant is prosecuted after such a plea agreement, though this case was investigated because the plea was the result of special dealing and favoritism.

However, Butler proceeds to insist that this case is materially the same as thousands of others that were treated differently because of Smollett’s race.

“The charges were dropped in exchange for community service and surrender his $10,000 bond — an appropriate result for a first-time offender in a nonviolent crime. But that wasn’t enough for many White people — and some Black people as well— who wanted a pound of Smollett’s flesh.”

It was not “an appropriate result” but a result that was secured through special treatment by State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office to drop 16 counts. Most legal experts, including myself, expressed shock at the level of favoritism displayed by Foxx and her office in dealing with the star.

Smollett had used his contacts in the media to portray himself as the victim of a racist society. As we discussed earlier, Vice President Kamala Harris, then a U.S. senator, denounced what happened as an “attempted modern-day lynching.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said it was a “homophobic attack and an affront to our humanity.” In a fawning interview, ABC’s Robin Roberts described Smollett as “bruised but not broken” and breathlessly concluded the segment with “Beautiful, thank you, Jussie.”

Even when evidence mounted that this was a hoax, some media figures lashed out at Smollett’s doubters. ABC’s “The Talk” host Sara Gilbert was irate: “I find so personally offensive that a gay Black man is targeted and then suddenly he becomes the victim of people’s disbelief.”

Moreover, Professor Butler is ignoring the extensive findings of a long investigation and the views of the court that this was neither consistent with past cases nor justice. The Washington Post column simply repeats the talking point of Foxx, who was completely discredited in claiming that the Smollett case was “the treatment we’ve given to about 5,700 other people over the course of the last two years.”

Special investigator Dan Webb shredded that claim, which has found a new life in the Washington Post. As we discussed at the time, Webb found that Foxx lied to the public and misrepresented past cases. The report states specifically addressed and refuted the claim raised by Butler:

“The CCSAO attempted to find anecdotal evidence of similar resolutions to support its public narrative that its resolution of the initial Smollett case was not an outlier, but struggled to find any similar cases resolved in a similar manner (let alone thousands as was implied by the Dismissal Press Statement).”

The National District Attorneys Association also refuted the claim:

“The manner in which this case was dismissed was abnormal and unfamiliar to those who practice law in criminal courthouses across the State. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges alike do not recognize the arrangement Mr. Smollett received. Even more problematic, the State’s Attorney and her representatives have fundamentally misled the public on the law and circumstances surrounding the dismissal.

…The appearance of impropriety here is compounded by the fact that this case was not on the regularly scheduled court call, the public had no reasonable notice or opportunity to view these proceedings, and the dismissal was done abruptly at what has been called an “emergency” hearing. To date, the nature of the purported emergency has not been publicly disclosed. The sealing of a court case immediately following a hearing where there was no reasonable notice or opportunity for the public to attend is a matter of grave public concern and undermines the very foundation of our public court system.

…Lastly, the State’s Attorney has claimed this arrangement is “available to all defendants” and “not a new or unusual practice.” There has even been an implication it was done in accordance with a statutory diversion program. These statements are plainly misleading and inaccurate. This action was highly unusual, not a statutory diversion program, and not in accordance with well accepted practices of State’s Attorney initiated diversionary programs. The IPBA supports diversion programs, and recognizes the many benefits they provide to the community, the defendant and to the prosecuting agency. Central to any diversion program, however, is that the defendant must accept responsibility. To be clear here, this simply was not a deferred prosecution.”

There were not “thousands of cases” like this one. The Special Investigation was initiated precisely because this was an irregular action taken in favor of a well-connected celebrity. Yet, Butler insists that he was railroaded due to his race despite overwhelming evidence of special treatment due to his connections. Butler claims “he is just another Black man serving time — in a system more perverted than his crime.”

While insisting that people could not get beyond Smollett’s race, Butler tags Webb — one o the most respected prosecutors in the country — for his race:

“So a White male lawyer in private practice was handed more control over a criminal case than the Black female prosecutor elected to make those kinds of decisions. But Webb’s decision to throw the book at Smollett didn’t just undermine the legitimacy of the system. Public safety took a hit too.”

What is most striking about the Washington Post column is the claim that it is Smollett’s brief jail term — not his hoax — that will undermine future cases of racist attacks:

“Sending a Black gay man to jail for lying about being attacked will not encourage hate crime victims to come forward. Instead, it sends the message that they, rather than their assailants, are subject to being incarcerated if authorities don’t believe their stories.”

I would think that the greater damage is promulgating a craven and sensational hoax that cost the city and the police a fortune while risking that others may doubt for such claims in the future.

Smollett not only refused to admit his guilt at his original plea agreement, he took the stand and lied repeatedly, including lying and attacking the two black men who conspired with him in the hoax. He then continued to lie at sentencing and claim that he was in fact attacked by white men wearing MAGA hats.

Jussie Smollett is not “just another Black man serving time — in a system more perverted than his crime.” He is a man who manipulated that system with the assistance of the media and powerful friends. He is still doing that.

 

 

 

 

171 thoughts on “Washington Post Column: Jussie Smollett is “Just Another Black Man Serving Time-in a System More Perverted than his Crime.””

  1. Smutlett was released from jail after posting $150K per the appeals court

    Such a weeny drama queen

    #####

    NY Post:

    The appeals court said Smollett could be released after posting a personal recognizance bond of $150,000.

    Smollett’s attorneys had argued that he would have completed the sentence by the time the appeal process was completed and that Smollett could be in danger of physical harm if he remained locked up in Cook County Jail.

  2. I have to ask…
    How much was Butler paid to give his ‘legal opinion’ for that article?

    He’s covering the same talking points and issues raised by Jussie’s family and legal team.

    They are playing the race card.

    The facts of the case won out.

    He lied.
    He tied up police resources in an already stretched thin city budget and lied about a hate crime.
    He filed a false police report and then to compound it… he went to the press to get more focus on the efforts of the police to try and find his alleged attackers.

    Free clue.
    I used to live about 1km due west of where the alleged attack took place. I know the area. And I know that the minute he reported the attack, that it was a hoax.
    Anyone who lived in River North area, knew this. Especially on the coldest day of the year. And to be clear. Nobody knew Jussie was there. Or really cared. Chicago hosts many production companies and actors filming here.

      1. I am from Chicago. And it was Streeterville. But all of the facts are the same. Jussie is a lying, conceited ,mostly pre hoax irrelevant narcissist. And for what he did a pure P.O.S.

  3. This is like the way TRUMP! is being treated in the justice system…only Donald hasn’t been indicted for any of his alleged crimes. Thanks, Merrick.

    1. If he charges Trump, it will need to be a very strong case. He needs time to build that case. The DOJ has already filed seditious conspiracy charges against a bunch of insurrectionists and one is cooperating. Give it some more time.

      1. Soooo looking forward to Hillary being tortured by being locked up in prison with other women in separate cells where she can not sleep with them, touch them and otherwise do the nasty

        Lock her up!

        1. Did you actually listen to that video? It doesn’t allege that Clinton committed any crimes.

          And if you really want to know about US v Sussman, read the case docket:
          https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/60390583/united-states-v-sussmann/
          The current status is that Sussman has moved to have the case dismissed for lack of materiality, the government opposes dismissal, and now we’re waiting for the judge to rule on whether the cases is dismissed or proceeds. If the judge allows the case to move forward, he’ll also need to rule on the question of whether Sussman can keep his current lawyers and whether the government must strike some of its recent claims.

          1. Hillary Clinton violated any number of federal regulations related to information security, particularly the handling of classified material. All of them carry penalties from fines to jail time.

            1. Jared and Ivanka and Trump also violated federal regulations related their handling of material covered by law (e.g., the PRA).

              Neither they nor Clinton have been charged. Surely you’re not going to hold Clinton to different standards than the Trumps and Kushners, right?

  4. Give the poor boy a chance. Juicy Smolaa was just auditioning for his next big part. He was just showing off his acting ability. You can’t fault the boy for trying to further his employment opportunities with his friends in Hollywood who have the same sexual attraction that he has. Don’t worry, he’ll soon have new employment playing two parts. One physical and one theatrical.

  5. SCIENCE DENIERS

    “Dr. Watson was correct on all accounts: (1) Intelligence tests do reveal large differences between European and sub-Saharan African nations, (2) the evidence does link these differences to universally valued outcomes, both within and between nations, and (3) there is data to suggest these differences are influenced by genetic factors.”

    – NIH NLM
    ________

    NIH National Library of Medicine

    doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2008.03.041. Epub 2008 Apr 28.
    James Watson tells the inconvenient truth: faces the consequences
    Jason Malloy

    PMID: 18440722 DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2008.03.041

    Abstract

    Recent comments by the eminent biologist James Watson concerning intelligence test data from sub-Saharan Africa resulted in professional sanctions as well as numerous public condemnations from the media and the scientific community. They justified these sanctions to the public through an abuse of trust, by suggesting that intelligence testing is a meaningless and discredited science, that there is no data to support Dr. Watson’s comments, that genetic causes of group differences in intelligence are falsified logically and empirically, and that such differences are already accounted for by known environment factors. None of these arguments are correct, much less beyond legitimate scientific debate. Dr. Watson was correct on all accounts: (1) Intelligence tests do reveal large differences between European and sub-Saharan African nations, (2) the evidence does link these differences to universally valued outcomes, both within and between nations, and (3) there is data to suggest these differences are influenced by genetic factors. The media and the larger scientific community punished Dr. Watson for violating a social and political taboo, but fashioned their case to the public in terms of scientific ethics. This necessitated lying to the public about numerous scientific issues to make Watson appear negligent in his statements; a gross abuse of valuable and fragile public trust in scientific authority. Lies and a threatening, coercive atmosphere to free inquiry and exchange are damaging to science as an institution and to scientists as individuals, while voicing unfashionable hypotheses is not damaging to science. The ability to openly voice and argue ideas in good faith that are strange and frightening to some is, in fact, integral to science. Those that have participated in undermining this openness and fairness have therefore damaged science, even while claiming to protect it with the same behavior.

  6. All should search for YouTube Videos “Tracy Morgan Shreds Jussie Smollett on Tonight show”, along with “Dave Chappelle Jussie Smollett”!

    1. Numbers,

      That skit was hilarious because, like much of Chappelle’s work, it is a pure satire of the truth.

  7. So what’s new. We can recall when The Washington Post was enraged about hate crimes against Asians. Then the videos surfaces showing that the crimes against Asians were being committed by black men. Then they dropped the stories like a hot rock. Isn’t it amazing that they so want to virtue signal that they didn’t check out the facts. New day same deffication.

    1. Thinkthrough is another puppet of The Blog Stooge. He is also Ralph, Feldman, Giocon, James, Mistress Addams, Margot Ballhere, Paul Schulte and many, many more.

      1. LOL – Thinkitthrough is not Mistress Adams. In this case, though, Professor Butler is right: the system, at least in Ms. Foxx’s Chicago is, more perverted than Mr. Smollett’s crime. No “white” person would have been accorded such treatment in similar circumstances. S/he would have been in the slammer months ago, serving a sentence commensurate with the crime.

        1. Paul, I am hurt, dejected and really depressed that everyone hates me on here. I knew when I became successful opening a string of nail salons in West Hollywood, knives would come out for me.

          1. Seth Warner – not everyone on here hates you. You have to take the good with the bad.

            s

            1. Paul, I hope you realize that the person currently posting as Seth Warner is not the same person as the one who used to post under the name Seth Warner. The current one is a homophobic troll.

                1. Paul, I can be quite the homophobe as well especially when no one compliments me on my long eyelashes, fuchsia fingernail polish and my fabulous wigs. This is what triggers me to be homophobic like:

                  https://jonathanturley.org/2022/03/13/poll-almost-half-of-american-say-that-they-would-rather-flee-than-defend-the-united-states/comment-page-4/#comment-2166332

                  “Anonymous says: March 15, 2022 at 10:37 AM
                  Mespo likes to surf the chocolate pipeline with Tucker.”

                  I apologize to Mespo and you, Paul, for being such a hypocrite. Will any of you alpha men treat me like the womyn I desperately deserve to be recognized as? Dont force me to be homophobic again

                2. REGARDING ABOVE:

                  A text alert went out advising the puppets to check in and assure us they’re not puppets.

                  Note how ‘Paul Schulte’ didn’t know ‘Seth Warner’ is a puppet. What nonsense! The real Paul Schulte would’ve figured that out pretty quickly.

    2. Robert Aaron Long, who murdered several people, mostly Asian American women, in the Atlanta spa shootings exactly a year ago is white. Isn’t it amazing that you ignore those deadly hate crimes?

        1. Thinkitthrough was ignoring it when he said “the crimes against Asians were being committed by black men.”

          1. Black men in NYC who get let go immediately after they commit said crimes. They get arrested over 40 times, and get hands slapped and they end up back out on the streets the next day. Progressive policies lead to violence, hate and division. Open your eyes.

    3. “A Black Lives Matter activist from Seattle has been arrested — for an alleged anti-Asian hate crime, according to reports.

      Christopher Hamner, 51, who is black, was charged with allegedly attacking three Asian-American women in two separate incidents last month, according to KIRO 7.

      In the first incident on March 16, Hamner allegedly shouted “Asian b—h!” at a Chinese-American mom, who was driving with her two children, before punching his fists together in a menacing motion and demanding that she get out of the car, according to the local news outlet.

      The mother, Pamela Cole, says she snapped photos of Hamner and he then drove off.”

      – KIRO 7

  8. I really can’t believe the people that show up on this site and they continually criticize Professor Turley. And it seems to be the same people day after day. It seems like they all must lead extremely miserable lives.

    1. From the evidence of Social Media, it appears all leftists have miserable lives filled with hatred for others and loathing of the social norms that enable people to get along peacefully. They are inherently disordered and the rest of us should remember that.

      1. They push their miserable lives on everyone else along with their ideology which explains why they are miserable in the first place. Envy always leads to being a bit sad.

      2. Hornbook claims:

        “all leftists have miserable lives filled with hatred”

        Well, at least, Leftists weren’t at the Capitol looking to hang Mike Pence out of hatred.

        1. “all leftists have miserable lives filled with hatred”, and (listening to Jeffie) ignorance.

    2. Independent Bob,

      “ I really can’t believe the people that show up on this site and they continually criticize Professor Turley. And it seems to be the same people day after day. ”

      I can’t believe people still don’t realize this is a free speech advocacy site. Criticism is par for the course and Turley himself is well aware of the consequences of offering opinions that anyone can comment on.

      If there was no criticism or pushback on certain issues this site would just be an uninteresting echo chamber.

      1. Svelaz, I understand the free speech thing. I would never want to stop anyone from expressing themselves. It just seems like some people keep hammering the same negative song and dance, over and over again. There are politicians I don’t care for, but I don’t let them take over my life.

    3. Independent Bob says:

      “It seems like they all must lead extremely miserable lives.”

      My life is miserable living in Marin County. Obviously, you have no clue about what you are talking. The weather is fine and the lifestyle is laidback. There is a reason you can’t afford to live here.

  9. I think that the justice system should impose on those found guilty of these hoax crimes the same punishment that would have been meted out for the alleged crime. According to Wilfred Reilly, author of the 2019 book “Hate Crime Hoax”, an estimated 15% to 50% of the hate crimes are actually hoaxes. The problem with hoaxes is that various institutions may immediately react in sympathy believing the hoax to be credible resulting in needless social harm through unnecessary rule changes (e.g. the Duke Lacrosse Team). In addition, these hoaxes tear at the social fabric in the most pernicious of ways by reducing trust amongst the populace. Simply put, we should stop making excuses for these hoaxers in their attempts to further the “Continuing Oppression Narrative” in the absence of real data.

  10. Smollett is a jerk and will spend 150 days in jail for it, but the Karen’s, some who also filed false police reports get a pass. Trump’s cult who made states spend millions on false reports get a pass. Professor Butler is right about one thing, the system is perverted.

    1. FishWings. Please provide a source that confirms that Karens filed false reports. You may have a source but if you do not provide it we must assume that once again you are just making it all up in your own head.

      1. Did you miss the video of Amy Cooper calling the cops on a totally civil Black birdwatcher (Christian Cooper, no relation) who had asked her to leash her dog in a part of Central Park in NYC where dogs are required to be leashed?

        Mr. Cooper videotaped some of the interaction. Ms. Cooper told Mr. Cooper “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” and then she told the 911 operator “I’m in the Ramble, and there is a man, African-American, he has a bicycle helmet. He is recording me and threatening me and my dog. There is an African-American man, I am in Central Park, he is recording me and threatening myself and my dog. … I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble,” and then when 911 called her back, she added that Mr. Cooper tried to assault her. The DA said “The defendant twice reported that an African American man was putting her in danger, first by stating that he was threatening her and her dog, then in a second call indicating that he tried to assault her in the Ramble area of the park.” She was going to be charged with filing a false police report, but the DA eventually dropped the charges.

        Turley wrote about it.

  11. Using Race as a cudgel for despicable behavior has become ubiquitous in the Justice System, from the Police, to the Prosecutors, and the Courts. The supposed systemic racism debate in America, in politics’, Universities, the media written and social is used indiscriminately. It’s used to foster a belief that it’s perfectly fine for a certain class of society to commit crimes as long as they are classified as a minority. Should an offender be a minority it’s presumed the charges have a tinge of racism regardless of the underlying facts. This particular case is a prime example.

    I’m not saying that Lady Justice has always been blind, or even today is blind in all cases, but it does not relieve those that question the outcome from immediately saying the judgments of the Courts were racist.

    Regarding Jussie Smollett and his defenders I quote Albert Camus from ‘TheFall’: “We are all special cases. We all want to appeal to something! Everyone insists on his innocence, at all costs, even if it means accusing the rest of the human race and heaven.”

  12. A crime is a crime of course. WaPo downgrades diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment, class-based bigotry)-motivated [hate] crimes? Is there a consensus?

  13. Any law ‘professor’ who declares the law more perverted than Juicy Smollett should not be teaching. If the law is perverted then he’s a pervert for teaching it. The assertion is absurd but not the man making it, who is hopelessly absurd.

  14. Imagine, if you will: had the actions and words of Smollett been taken and spoken by a person of “no color” … Would this sad excuse for a professor of “law” even speak up? Surely not as there would be no platform for whining about allegations of victimhood..

    1. Some, Select [Black] Lives Matter, with billion dollar revenues, yes. However, Baby Lives Matter (BLM)… All Lives Matter is politically incongruent (i.e. not “=”). That said, 32 trimesters to end the Slavic Spring, the war in Ukraine, the recurring nationwide insurrections, violence, and occupation of American cities and neighborhoods, so there is precedent.

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