Jussie Smollett charges dropped: What is a deferred prosecution?

Jussie Smollett
The charges against Jussie Smollett have been dropped. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/StarMaxWorldwide

Empire actor Jussie Smollett learned this morning that prosecutors in Chicago were dropping all 16 felony charges of disorderly conduct against him.

It was only one month ago that he was indicted over allegedly making a false police report after two brothers claimed that Smollett had paid them to stage an attack against him.

The decision to drop all the felony charges mean his records will be wiped clean, and the case is sealed. He won’t have a criminal record. He did, however, forfeit his bond, meaning he won’t get his $10,000 bond back.

The case was originally believed to be a matter of deferred prosecution, which means that prosecutors make a deal with the defendant that could resolve the matter at hand rather than go forward with a prosecution.

However, Smollett’s lawyer later revealed that the outcome of the case was not due to deferred prosecution. Instead, the prosecutors simply dropped all charges, which means there was no deal to be made.

In a press conference after Smollett left the courtroom, he said that he was happy that he had been truthful, but added that this had been the toughest period of his life.

“I have been truthful and consistent on every level since day one,” he said in a press conference outside of the courtroom. “I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of.”

CNN reports that The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office didn’t explain why the felony charges were dropped but did say that the decision came after reviewing the facts of the case.

“After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case,” the state’s attorney’s office said in a statement.

Since the case is sealed, it’s uncertain what caused prosecutors to make the decision they did to drop all charges.

Jussie Smollett claimed that he had been attacked in an incident that ended with a noose around his neck and bleach poured on him in January. At the time, he said he didn’t know his assailants.

They were later identified as brothers, who claimed Jussie had paid them to stage the attack. On February 20, Smollett was charged with a Class 4 felony count of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. He turned himself in and was briefly jailed before posting his $100,000 bond.

It’s uncertain what will happen with the two brothers, Ola Osundairo, 27, and Abel Osundairo, 25.

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