The City of Chicago is seeking restitution for the cost of a hoax hate crime investigation ($130,000 in police overtime and other expenses) that Jussie Smollett allegedly fabricated back in January of 2019. However, regardless of whether the public believes Jussie Smollett is guilty for attempting to slander President Trump and his “White” supporters with allegations of racism and homophobia, it is important to note that in alignment with the Supreme Court’s review of Coffin v. United States, 156 U.S. 432 (1895), and in accordance with the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, Jussie Smollett still retains his constitutionally protected right of presumption of innocence.
In accordance with Article 3, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution:
The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment; shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
In accordance with the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
However, persons close to Jussie Smollett have been advising him to “Plead the Fifth,” arguing that he cannot be tried for the same offence a second time, as noted in the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In response to the federal judge’s ruling on October 22, 2019, Jussie Smollett’s attorney, William Quinlan, issued the following statement:
We have never had the opportunity to take any evidence, or take any statements under oath. This will give us the opportunity to do that, and we believe once we do that, it will, you know, something that my client looks forward to.
The federal judge has set a February 1, 2020 deadline for discovery so that the trial can begin as soon as next spring.