Jussie Smollett’s reaction to the gallows didn’t make sense: a black juror

Jussie Smollett's reaction to the gallows didn't make sense: a black juror

Sydney, 2021-12-14 12:49:00. Jussie Smollett’s reaction to the gallows didn’t make sense: a black juror

CHICAGO – The only black juror on the panel who convicted Josie Smollett of lying to Chicago police said he couldn’t get past what the actor didn’t do after he claimed the attackers tied a noose around his neck: he tore it and walked away.

If others saw stifling as a clumsy effort by Smollett to portray his attackers as racists, Andre Hope saw much more.

“As an African-American person, I don’t go back to the gallows at all,” Andre Hope told WLS-TV. During the trial, Smollett testified that after the attack in downtown Chicago in January 2019, he returned to his home and put the rope around his neck so that policemen who came to his apartment soon after could see him.

Hope wasn’t the only black person who struggled with Smollett’s use of such a powerful symbol of racism in the United States to convince authorities that he was the victim of a hate crime.

In an interview with NewsNation Now after Smollett’s conviction last Thursday, Eddie Johnson – who was the Chicago police superintendent in January 2019 when Smollett said he was attacked – said roughly the same thing.

“I was worried because I don’t think there are many black people in America who have a noose around their necks and they won’t take it off immediately,” Johnson said.

Hope said the evidence against Smollett was overwhelming. At the trial, two brothers testified that Smollett had recruited them to carry out the phantom attack. Hope said that the counter-narrative by Smollett’s lawyers that the couple had actually planned the attack on Smollett did not make sense.

“When you use your common sense as it is, yeah, that’s just it, it wasn’t total,” said Hope, a 63-year-old father of two who lives in a suburb of Bellwood, west of Chicago.

Amal listened to prosecutors arguing that Smollett carried out the hoax because he was angry that the studio where he filmed the TV show “Empire” did not take the hate messages he received seriously. But after all the evidence has been presented, and after all the witnesses have testified, Hope still has one big question.

“I still didn’t know what drove him to do this, why this happened,” Hope said. “He was a star.”

Smollett faces up to three years in prison when he returns to court next year for sentencing. But experts said he is likely to be placed on probation and ordered to perform community service.

That would be fine with Hope, who thinks Smollett doesn’t deserve to go to jail. He said he hoped the actor – who testified that he had lost his livelihood – would be given a chance to resume his career.

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