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Juror in Jussie Smollett’s trial says they were doing him ‘a favor’ by not convicting him on 6th count

A juror in Jussie Smollett’s trial explained that they believed they were doing the former “Empire” star a “favor” by convicting him on all but one of the charges against him. 

Last week, Smollett was found guilty on five out of six charges at his hate crime hoax trial. After a contentious week of witness testimony, counsel arguments and deliberation, the jury found Smollett had indeed lied to police when he said he did not work with two siblings who worked on “Empire” to stage the attack on himself as a hate crime.

According to a female juror who spoke anonymously with The Chicago-Sun Times, the biggest point of contention among the jury had to do with why the sixth count was different from the other five. She explained that count had to do with a second interview about the incident that Smollett did with detectives on Feb. 14, 2019 when he reported that he was the victim of an aggravated battery. Meanwhile, the other five counts were specifically about whether or not he lied about a hate crime. 

“We all thought we were doing Jussie a favor,” the juror said. 

JUSSIE SMOLLETT CONVICTED OF STAGING HATE CRIME, LYING TO COPS

Jussie Smollett was convicted Thursday on five of six charges he staged an anti-gay, racist attack on himself nearly three years ago and then lied to Chicago police about it. 
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

She explained that the rest of the jury was told it was an aggravated battery because the assailants were wearing masks, which remained consistent throughout Smollett’s story. Therefore, regardless of whether or not the attack was staged, jurors believe Smollett did not lie. His real crime, in the eyes of the jury, had to do with telling police to investigate a hate crime.

JUSSIE SMOLLETT LAWYER SAYS THEY ‘100 PERCENT’ PLAN TO APPEAL GUILTY VERDICTS, ‘CONFIDENT’ ON REVERSAL

Actor Jussie Smollett arrives with his mother Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse for jury selection at his trial in Chicago. 

Actor Jussie Smollett arrives with his mother Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse for jury selection at his trial in Chicago. 
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

“I just hope that [Smollett and his attorneys] know that we went in there with an open mind,” the juror said. “I listened to both sides. We wanted to make sure that those who had doubts didn’t feel pressured.”

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Ultimately, after nine hours of deliberations, the jury reached its decision and announced last Thursday that the actor did indeed lie to police on multiple occasions about being the victim of a hate crime. The prosecution alleged that he worked with brothers Abimbola and Olabingo Osundairo to stage the attack in an apparent effort to raise Smollett’s profile. 

Former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett was convicted for lying to police about a hate crime attack. 

Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was convicted for lying to police about a hate crime attack. 
(AP Photo/Matt Marton, file)

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The juror noted that the Osundairos’ testimony was ultimately deemed stronger than Smollett’s. While she admitted that many believed the siblings were not fully forthcoming with all the information they knew, what they did say was largely backed up by police. Smollett’s defense, meanwhile, mostly called character witnesses. When he was on the stand, the juror noted that she didn’t believe he answered every question fully in a way that proved his innocence. 

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