connectVideoDecision to drop against Jussi Smollett sparks bipartisan outrage
CHICAGO – An internal e-mail from the office of Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx, obtained by Fox News on Wednesday, asked assistant state’s attorneys to dig for examples to strengthen Foxx’s claim that the lost cost in the Jussi Smollett case is not as unusual or shocking as they seemed.
The e-mail read in part, “We are looking for examples of cases, crime preference, where we, in the exercise of our discretion, have entered into oral agreements with defense attorneys to close against an offender if certain conditions are met…”
The e-mail added, “No one is in trouble, we are just looking for more examples of how we, as the public prosecutor, use our discretion in a manner that restores the victim…”
It was not clear who the sender is, and exactly when it is sent. Foxx recused himself from the case last February, but defended her office provides Smollett “an alternative prosecution model” in a series of interviews on Wednesday.
An internal e-mail from Kim Foxx office and obtained by Fox News asked the workers to dig for examples of amplification of Foxx’s claim that the lost cost in the Jussi Smollett case is not as unusual or shocking as they seemed. (Getty, File)
Illinois Attorney Rod Drobinski told Fox News that because a special prosecutor was not appointed in the Smollett case there were the semblance of impropriety on behalf of Foxx’s office. “Even the prosecutor said that it has a strong case. That makes it even more unusual that they did not require he admit to what he did as part of this dismissal.”
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Foxx is defending the decision of its employees to drop against the “Empire” actor after the researchers revealed that he was allegedly the organizer of a racist, anti-gay attack.
Foxx told Fox 32 on Wednesday she believed the case was handled well for a case of its kind. She pointed to Smollett forfeiture of his $10,000 bond and doing community service.
“If we look at the similarly, the persons who are charged with this offense, without a background, I think in this case, justice was, um, appropriate,” Foxx told Fox 32 Chicago. “He was made to an alternative prosecution model that someone without wealth, without fame, would also be helped.”
Cook County prosecutors dismissed all charges, but still maintained Smollett lied about his being attacked in the centre of Chicago, on Jan. 29. And Mayor Rahm Emanuel has called the dropping of charges” a whitewash.”
Smollett’s lawyer, Patricia Brown Holmes, said in a statement: “We are disappointed in the local authorities continued their campaign against Jussi Smollett after the charges against him were dropped. The facts are clear. The Assistant State’s Attorney appeared in court and dismissed the charges. Mr. Smollett forfeited his bond. The case is closed. No public official has the right to violate the Lord Smollett procedural rights. Mr. Smollett, like every citizen, is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Mr. Smollett is entitled to the same Constitutional protection as any citizen charged by the government with the crime, including the right to speak freely about his innocence, the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and the right of the State to its burden of proving him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. None of that has happened in this case.”
The National District Attorneys Association, which claims to represent approximately a height of 2700 prosecutors’ offices throughout the country, heavily criticized Foxx in a statement to Fox News.
“At first, when an attorney general recuses him-or herself, the recusal should apply to the whole office, not just the elected or designated officer of justice. This is in accordance with the best practices for the public prosecutor in the whole country,” the statement began.
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It is added, “Second, officers of justice must not in the opinion of politically connected friends of the defendant. Each case must be approached with the goal of justice for the victims, while the protection of the rights of the accused. Third, when a prosecutor seeks to resolve a matter by means of distraction, or any other alternative to prosecution, it should be done with a recognition of the guilt of the defendant. A case with far-reaching consequences of Mr Smollett’s should not be resolved without a determination of guilt or innocence.”
The statement concludes: “the Fourth, expunging the Lord Smollett’s record at this immediate stage is in conflict with transparency. Enforcement of the law will now not be able to recognize that the Lord Smollett was indicted and accused of these horrific crimes and the full list of what happened and it will always be hidden to the public. Finally, we strongly believe that hate crimes should be prosecuted vigorously, but the burden of proof should not be artificially increased due to the wrong decisions of others.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.