Jury Selection for Jussie Smollett Trial Begins Today

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Image: Rob Kim/Getty Images

After almost three years of delay, Jussie Smollet’s trial will finally begin, CNN reports.

Jury selection is set to commence today in the trial of the former Empire star and it will likely last only a week in total.

As EBONY previously reported, Smollett is accused of lying to Chicago police when he claimed he was the victim of an anti-gay hate crime and racist attack on Jan. 29, 2019.

During the attack, Smollett claimed that a group of men shouted “This is MAGA country,” and then poured a bleach-like substance on him and hung a noose around his neck.

After numerous investigations, authorities believed that there was overwhelming evidence that Smollett staged the attack with the help of two brothers he met at a local gym. 

Investigators argued that texts and accounts from two of Smollett associates linked Smollett to paying them to make it look like he was physically assaulted to further ignite his career.

Throughout the ordeal, Smollett has maintained his innocence.

Although Smollett was indicted on 16 counts of providing false information, all of his charges were dismissed by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and his $10,000 bail was forfeited. After Foxx was heavily criticized for the handling of the case, a special prosecutor was assigned who brought new disorderly conduct charges against Smollett.

Dan Webb, the new prosecutor on the case, brought the new indictment against Smollett back in February 2020, but the trial had been delayed by the pandemic.

If convicted of the charges, Smollett faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison. Due to his lack of a criminal record, he could receive a reduced sentence or probation.

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