Jussie Smollett’s Conviction for Fake Hate Crime Upheld by Illinois Appeals Court

Jaime Halscott

Jaime T. Halscott

Jaime T. Halscott is the Managing Partner of Appeals Law Group, a Florida-based law firm concentrating in criminal appeals, civil appeals, post-conviction relief, habeas corpus petitions, and executive clemency petitions.  He can he reached at 407-255-2165 or www.appealslawgroup.com


Jussie Smollet Mugshot2

Chicago, Illinois – December 1, 2023

An Illinois appeals court has upheld the conviction of actor Jussie Smollett for the staged hate crime he orchestrated against himself in 2019.  The Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, issued a 69-page opinion affirming the conviction and jail sentence on December 1, 2023.


Smollett, a star on the show “Empire,” was found guilty after trial of five counts of disorderly conduct and making a false police report.  He was initially sentenced to 150 days in jail in March 2022 but was released pending appeal.

The openly gay Black actor faced six counts of disorderly conduct for providing false information to investigators in January 2019, alleging a racist and homophobic attack. Each count corresponded to a separate instance of reporting a false claim. Smollett claimed he was attacked by two masked men who hurled racial slurs, poured bleach on him, and placed a noose around his neck as he walked to his Chicago home in the early morning hours of January 29, 2019.

However, prosecutors argued that Smollett orchestrated the incident to garner media attention, alleging he paid $3,500 to brothers Abimbola “Bola” and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo to carry out the attack. Despite the Osundairo brothers revealing they were paid to stage the assault, Smollett continued to stand by his initial account.

The case has faced ongoing complications since the incident, with initial charges dropped before a special prosecutor was assigned. In 2020, a grand jury indicted Smollett, leading to his attempts to dismiss the charges. He cited various factors, including an alleged violation of double jeopardy principles, questioning the validity of the special prosecutor’s appointment, and asserting a violation of an agreement with the CCSAO (Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office) to dismiss the original case.

In the recent opinion, the court noted that Smollett filed an appeal in a different proceeding and did so after the deadline had passed. The actor sought to dismiss the charges by contesting the “invalid appointment of the special prosecutor.”

Because his conviction has been affirmed, Smollett will likely be ordered back to jail to complete his 150-day sentence.

The case is The People of the State of Illinois v. Jussie Smollett, Case # 1-22-0322.  You can read the opinion HERE:

The People of the State of Illinois v. Jussie Smollett, Case # 1-22-0322


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