At 11:51 AM PT, Special prosecutor Dan Webb informed TMZ that the appellate court had ruled in their favor on all issues raised by Mr. Smollett, marking a significant victory.
Webb stated that dissenting opinions in the ruling are not uncommon, and the appeals court’s decision is final. He added that Mr. Smollett could file a discretionary petition for a higher appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court chooses not to hear the appeal, the case will return to the trial court for the execution of his sentence.
Webb concluded, “What happens next is Mr. Smollett can file a petition for a higher appeal to The Illinois Supreme Court. This is purely discretionary meaning the court does not have to hear this appeal. He lost all legal rights to an appeal with today’s decision. If the Supreme Court decides to hear his appeal, there will be briefs filed and a hearing date set. If not, then the case goes back to the trial court, which will execute his sentence.”
In an update at 10:05 AM PT, Jussie Smollett and his team expressed their intention to continue the fight. Their representative stated, “We wish to highlight that the decision was divided, with Justice Lyle offering a detailed analysis in favor of Smollett. We are preparing to escalate this matter to the Supreme Court, armed with a substantial body of evidence.”
Jussie Smollett faced a setback in court as an Illinois appeals court, in a 2-1 vote, upheld his conviction for the hoax attack. The key argument in Jussie’s appeal centered around the claim that he could not be prosecuted due to Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx’s initial decision not to prosecute the case. The two justices who upheld the conviction argued that Foxx’s decision was not equivalent to an agreement never to charge him, while the dissenting justice believed it signaled the case’s conclusion.
With the upheld conviction, Jussie is likely to return to a Chicago jail to serve his 150-day sentence. Initially convicted in 2022, he spent six days in Cook County Jail before being released while pursuing an overturn of his sentence.
Jussie’s legal team has the option to appeal this decision to the Illinois Supreme Court, which would then determine whether to hear the case. Despite the legal challenges, Jussie engaged in various activities during his appeal, including releasing new music, directing a film with Vivica A. Fox, working out with Taraji P. Henson, attending rehab, and shaving his head. The situation is ongoing, and further developments are anticipated.