The jury in Jussie Smollett’s trial felt they were doing him “a favor” when they convicted the former “Empire” actor on five counts of disorderly conduct, but not on a sixth count.
The panel of six women and six men spent nine hours deciding Smollett’s fate. One juror told the Chicago Sun-Times that the issue wasn’t that jurors believed Smollett to be innocent, it was more a matter of wanting to spend time reviewing and considering evidence. [LINK]
The juror told the Sun-Times that the decision was one they struggled with.
Smollett was found guilty of five counts of disorderly conduct for reporting a battery and for reporting a hate crime to officers in the hours after the attack. The last charge for which the actor was not found guilty was the accusation that Smollett lied to police during a second interview with detectives on Feb. 14 when he reported he was the victim of an aggravated battery.
Essentially, the jurors got hung up on the reasoning behind the last charge and why it was charged differently than the others.
The juror said they found the testimonies of brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo more credible than Smollett — although the juror said neither brother was believed to have been completely forthcoming by the jury.
There were some doubts that special prosecutors had proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Nonetheless, the jury felt there were too many times that Smollett didn’t have credible answers. In addition, the juror said, the jury wasn’t presented with any witnesses that backed Smollett’s case.
The juror said she hopes Smollett will get probation, which seems likely given his lack of criminal background.