Juror explains why they convicted Smollett

AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File

We provided a lot of coverage and commentary of the Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax here over the course of the three long years it took to drag out. Once he finally went to trial, however, it almost seemed as if all of the Sturm und Drang surrounding the story didn’t really add up to much of anything. The testimony we wound up seeing was mostly in line with the reporting that emerged throughout the scope of the proceedings. And when it was over, the jury really wasn’t out for all that long. Given how quickly most of the media bought into Smollett’s story and how “complicated” that whole thing was supposed to be, it just seemed as if the jury would have had a harder time with it. Now, one of the jurors has given an interview to the media while maintaining anonymity, explaining how they arrived at their decision. As it turns out, they could have finished their work even more quickly were it not for a desire to review all of the evidence one more time. (Yahoo News)

A juror in the Jussie Smollett trial has explained several reasons why the jury felt there was no way they could acquit the star actor in his bombshell trial for staging a fake hate crime attack on himself.

The female juror, who declined to be named, told the Chicago Sun-Times that the jury of six women and six men didn’t have any major disagreements but they took nine hours to deliberate because they wanted to properly consider all the evidence.

Some doubted that prosecutors had proven their case beyond reasonable doubt when deliberations began, she said. But those people just wanted more time to look over all the evidence again.

I’ll confess that I had my doubts about the final verdict right up until they came back. Chicago is full of a lot of liberals, and it really only would have taken one person on the jury who really didn’t want to see a gay, Black actor they may have enjoyed watching be convicted of something they would have preferred to see blamed on Donald Trump and we could have wound up with a hung jury. But according to this juror’s version of the events in the jury room, there wasn’t much going on besides a thorough review of all of the evidence that had been presented, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

It also may be that Smollett was his own worst enemy during the trial. When he decided to take the stand and was forced to answer questions from the prosecutors, the juror claims that the jury thought his answers “didn’t have credible reasoning.” (That’s being a bit generous if you ask me.) They also complained that they never got to hear the testimony of Smollett’s creative director Frank Gatson, who was the first person to call the police after the “attack.” For some reason, he was never called to testify.

The other factor she cited was the credibility they assigned to the testimony given by the Osundairo brothers. They were always going to be in the center ring of this circus. There were really only two logical explanations for what happened with Smollett on the evening in question. Either those two Black men who had worked for Smollett and owed their careers to him randomly decided to commit a hate crime attack against him, or it was a hoax that they agreed to go along with in exchange for more payments from him.

The idea that it was a legitimate attack has always seemed preposterous from the beginning. By the time we learned of the rehearsals that were conducted prior to the main performance, there shouldn’t have been any questions remaining. And from the sound of this juror, the jury saw it the same way. Smollett’s attorney is promising to appeal, and I’m sure she will. But I will be deeply shocked if a different result comes out of that attempt.