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National District Attorneys Association Slams Kim Foxx over Handling of Jussie Smollett Case: ‘Rich Are Treated Differently’

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 23: Cook County State's attorney Kim Foxx arrives to speak with reporters and details the charges against R. Kelly's first court appearance at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on February 23, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images
JUSTIN CARUSO

A press release from the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) calls out Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx for her role in felony charges against Jussie Smollett being dropped this week.

Empire actor Jussie Smollett was charged last month with 16 felony counts after he allegedly staged a hate crime against himself, paying two Nigerian-American brothers to beat him in a hoax attack. On Tuesday, the charges were suddenly dropped by SA Kim Foxx, infuriating Chicago police.

The NDAA criticized Foxx for a variety of reasons.

First, when a chief prosecutor recuses him or herself, the recusal must apply to the entire office, not just the elected or appointed prosecutor. This is consistent with best practices for prosecutors’ offices around the country.

Second, prosecutors should not take advice from politically connected friends of the accused. Each case should be approached with the goal of justice for victims while protecting the rights of the defendant.

Third, when a prosecutor seeks to resolve a case through diversion or some other alternative to
prosecution, it should be done so with an acknowledgement of culpability on the part of the
defendant. A case with the consequential effects of Mr. Smollett’s should not be resolved without a finding of guilt or innocence.

“(T)he rich are treated differently, the politically connected receive favorable treatment, and Lady Justice sometimes peeks under her blindfold to see who stands before her,” the release reads in part.

Part of the reason the charges against Smollett were dropped was because of his community service, which apparently means 18 hours of volunteering with Jesse Jackson’s organization, the “Rainbow PUSH Coalition.” This community service took place before the charges were dropped.

Foxx also did not in fact “formally” recuse herself, despite the earlier announcement that she had done so. The recusal was “colloquial,” not legal.

The 36-year-old actor originally claimed that two men jumped in downtown Chicago in January at 2am, put a rope around his neck, poured a chemical on him, and called him racist and homophobic slurs. The “attackers” also allegedly yelled “This is MAGA country!”

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