Here's What Happens Next In The Jussie Smollett Case

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On Thursday (December 9), a jury convicted actor Jussie Smollett of lying to Chicago police after alleging he'd been the victim of a hate crime back on January 29, 2019.

The former Empire star was found guilty on five out of the six felony disorderly conduct charges he faced –– each count relating to the several false reports he made to police officers in the time after the attack.

Smollett's legal team said they will appeal the conviction after jurors came back with a guilty verdict following just over nine hours of deliberation in two days.

The actor took the stand in his own defense, maintaining his innocence, while denying the testimony of brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo who said Smollett paid them to carry out the attack –– even claiming the actor had them do a "dry run" of the hate crime days before.

Now, the case turns to Jussie's potential punishment and his fight for appeal.

How Jussie Might've Influenced His Own Sentence

A disorderly conduct charges for a false crime report is categorized as a Class 4 felony is carries a prison sentence up to three years and $25,000 fine.

Cook County Judge James Linn will be presiding over sentencing, according to CNN, and will have discretion on handing down a concurrent or consecutive sentence for each charge. A date for sentencing hasn't been determined yet.

CNN Legal Analyst Joey Jackson made the point that while the judge could give Jussie probation, the actor might've opened himself up to prison time when he got up on the stand.

"When you testify in a case, the judge now gets a sense of what you said," Jackson said. "What Jussie Smollett said was resoundingly rejected by that jury. The jury did not buy what he was selling. That's not lost upon a judge. You came into the courtroom and fabricated."

The Chicago Police's use of resources on investigating the false crime is also something being considered by the judge, Jackson said.

"There are people legitimately who were the victims of hate crimes, and how do you diminish them by coming up with something that's a farce?" Jackson said.

"When you're really on trial for telling a lie and then you compound that by actually lying, it makes a judge –– who sits in judgment of you when you're sentenced –– really troubled," Jackson said of Jussie taking the stand.

Jussie's Future Appeal Attempt

Nenye Uche, Smollett's attorney, told reporters that he "respectfully disagrees" with the jury's decision and that Jussie will see success when they appeal.

Jussie "is 100% confident that this will be reversed on appeal," Uche said. "At the end of the day, we believe justice will prevail. We don't believe it was done today, but we're very confident that he will be cleared and that he will be found to be innocent."

The City of Chicago vs. Jussie Smollett

The City of Chicago announced that it still plans to purse a lawsuit against the actor to hold him accountable.

The lawsuit was first filed by the City in April 2019 after Jussie failed to pay $130,106.15 for the resources it used to investigate the hate crime hoax –– including the more than two dozen officers and detectives who worked the case for weeks, racking up 1,836 hours of overtime.

Smollett filed his own countersuit in November 2020.

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