Empire Actor Jussie Smollett Victim Of Hate Crime Attack In Chicago

Zaida Gearbox

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Our rules are very strict indeed. Once someone's charged, it's contempt of court to publish anything other than the fact of the charge and an account of the court proceedings (including bail and plea hearings, as well as the trial, of course) until the trial ends with either an acquittal or conviction.
If we had that rule here - there'd be a lot of out of work journalists/news commentators. Anyone ever hear of Nancy Grace - who is just the first big mouth to spring to mind.
 

Innula Zenovka

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If we had that rule here - there'd be a lot of out of work journalists/news commentators. Anyone ever hear of Nancy Grace - who is just the first big mouth to spring to mind.
One of the other big differences is that we don't have your jury selection procedure. Over here, jurors are asked to notify the court staff if they have any connection with the case -- they know one of the witnesses or something -- but other than that, they're a randomly-selected panel of 12 men and women, and that's it.

The judge tells them it's their duty to try the case on the basis of the evidence they hear in court, and only that evidence, so they must discount anything they may have heard or read about the case, and set aside any personal preferences and prejudices and try the case fairly and on its merits. And that's it.

Sometimes (very rarely) jurors will complain to the judge that one of their fellow juror's comments lead them to fear his or her prejudices will prevent the defendant from getting a fair trial, which generally leads to the juror being discharged (if a juror has to drop out for whatever reason, the trial is generally allowed to proceed so long as there remains a minimum of 9 jurors).

I think our trials are perfectly fair, and certainly no less fair than US ones, from what I've read.
 

Zaida Gearbox

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One of the other big differences is that we don't have your jury selection procedure. Over here, jurors are asked to notify the court staff if they have any connection with the case -- they know one of the witnesses or something -- but other than that, they're a randomly-selected panel of 12 men and women, and that's it.

The judge tells them it's their duty to try the case on the basis of the evidence they hear in court, and only that evidence, so they must discount anything they may have heard or read about the case, and set aside any personal preferences and prejudices and try the case fairly and on its merits. And that's it.

Sometimes (very rarely) jurors will complain to the judge that one of their fellow juror's comments lead them to fear his or her prejudices will prevent the defendant from getting a fair trial, which generally leads to the juror being discharged (if a juror has to drop out for whatever reason, the trial is generally allowed to proceed so long as there remains a minimum of 9 jurors).

I think our trials are perfectly fair, and certainly no less fair than US ones, from what I've read.
That's pretty much how it is here. People on juries aren't supposed to look at newspapers or the news while they're serving on the jury. If a trial lasts more than one day then they're sequestered in a hotel room to keep them from getting their opinions tainted by loud mouths like Nancy Grace or family members who read something in the paper or saw something on tv.

I always get excused from jury because my background in criminal justice, having been a crime victim myself, and having family members who were victims of crime - so I come all pre-prejudiced and might be able to unduly influence other jurors, or so says the defense attorneys anyway. Little do they know since I know the hell I'd be sending someone to by recommending sending them to prison, I'd want to be very convinced of their guilt before I'd find them guilty. There was even a case I was in court during where I told the defense lawyer he screwed up by doing a bench trial (judge only). If I'd been on a jury for that case, I would have never been able to find the defendant guilty.
 

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Trump attacks Empire actor Jussie Smollett for staging alleged hate crime: 'What about MAGA?'

This seems quite extraordinary to me. In the UK, where our free-speech protections are less absolute than in the US, it would be unlawful for a public figure to comment like this on a criminal case after someone is charged and before the jury delivers a verdict.

If a British politician said something like this in a British case she or he would, quite rightly, rapidly be facing charges of contempt of court, since the defendant is innocent until proven guilty, and it's not permissible for anyone else to prejudge the issue in public comments.
It is not unlawful but most presidents (and legislators) would not touch it. I doubt anyone was surprised donnie did though, faux has to be ranting about this every day.
 

Innula Zenovka

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That's pretty much how it is here. People on juries aren't supposed to look at newspapers or the news while they're serving on the jury. If a trial lasts more than one day then they're sequestered in a hotel room to keep them from getting their opinions tainted by loud mouths like Nancy Grace or family members who read something in the paper or saw something on tv.

I always get excused from jury because my background in criminal justice, having been a crime victim myself, and having family members who were victims of crime - so I come all pre-prejudiced and might be able to unduly influence other jurors, or so says the defense attorneys anyway. Little do they know since I know the hell I'd be sending someone to by recommending sending them to prison, I'd want to be very convinced of their guilt before I'd find them guilty. There was even a case I was in court during where I told the defense lawyer he screwed up by doing a bench trial (judge only). If I'd been on a jury for that case, I would have never been able to find the defendant guilty.
We don't excuse people for those sorts of reasons, or not normally. Having been a victim of crime, or working, or having worked, in law enforcement don't usually disqualify people from sitting on juries.

Being a serving police officer, for example, would disqualify you from hearing a case dealt with by your police station, or any case in which you knew the police officers (or witnesses) involved in the trial, but you could still be a jury dealing with a case with which you had no connection.

We used to disqualify and allow challenges for all sorts of reasons, but that changed back in the 1980s. Then in 2004, we stopped allowing automatic excusals based on profession, so even lawyers and judges can find themselves sitting on juries. I've sometimes wondered what it must be like for the judge and barristers in a normal crown court case to have one of the senior appeal court judges sitting as a member of the jury.

I don't think it's made any particular difference either way to the outcome of trials.
 

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Well, he had to distract from the actual white Supremacist wannabe-terrorist former Coast Guard member who planned to kill...well, pretty much everyone, but especially liberals.

As for Jussie Smollett, I'm very upset with him if this is all a hoax, and what's coming out so far appears very damning for him. He's harmed the black community, the LBGTQ community (most especially those who are in both groups) as well as his family and cast members, among others. I really liked his character on Empire but now he needs to go. He's ruined his career over what seems to amount to an expensive harmful stunt.
Well, one good thing I saw is it landed a local small trans charity on the news last night.
 
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Somehow I wound up with a facebook friend who is still convinced this is all a hoax. After he has turned himself in.

I really wish fb was not so convinced you have anything in common with every friend of a friend out there. Then those people send you friend messages and it gets awkward.
 

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Somehow I wound up with a facebook friend who is still convinced this is all a hoax. After he has turned himself in.
I'm confused what you mean by them thinking it is all a hoax. It does appear to be one. However, someone turning themself in is not a sign of guilt. If you have an arrest warrant, you have to turn yourself in. He's still innocent until proven guilty (though it does not look good for him).
 

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I'm confused what you mean by them thinking it is all a hoax. It does appear to be one. However, someone turning themself in is not a sign of guilt. If you have an arrest warrant, you have to turn yourself in. He's still innocent until proven guilty (though it does not look good for him).
I mean this person RABIDLY screamed it was all a hoax. Like orbital mind control lasers level of rabid. Not innocent until proven guilty, innocent because the cops are involved, full stop.
 

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What an asshat. (Jessie)
 

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It's TMZ, so I take it with a grain of salt, but the article shows there is still more to all of this than what is being publicly tried in the media. Something does seem off, I'm not sure what to believe. I figured by now Jussie would cop to what he supposedly did, but he is still maintaining his innocence. This lends some credence to the police narrative about him being completely wrong.
 
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Zaida Gearbox

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I'm confused because I thought within 24 hours of the alleged assault that he said that there was none of the "This is maga country" and no noose. Just a couple of guys kicked his ass. But, maybe (probably) I'm wrong. I'm willing to wait until he's proven guilty in a court of law - although when it appeared to be a hate crime and awful lot of people weren't so keen to wait for the police to finish their investigation before making pronouncements about "modern day lynching" which could have resulted in serious civil unrest in Chicago. However, I think there is more to it than the media knows. Prosecutors don't like to lose, and this case could blow up in their faces so spectacularly if they lose.
 
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Wasn't that when they arrested a Harvard professor for supposedly breaking into his own home?
I remember that.

If memory serves, he was locked out of his house, so he broke in. The cops were called on him. They then IDed him and confirmed it was his home. That really should have been the end of it, but the professor then demands their badge number. The officer then arrests him. This lead to a surprising number of American conservatives expressing the belief that an officer can arrest someone just for being rude ON THEIR OWN PROPERTY.
 

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To my mind, now criminal charges have been brought, he's entitled to the presumption of innocence until the case has been properly tried in front of, and decided by, a jury.

Both sides are apparently allowed, in the USA, to publish information before the trial to support their sides of the case, in a way that seems outrageous to me, as a Brit, where such behaviour would see organisations fined, and people quite possibly imprisoned , for contempt, but I really don't see any of it adds much to public understanding of the case until all the evidence brought by both sides has been properly delivered and challenged in court.
 

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One of the other big differences is that we don't have your jury selection procedure. Over here, jurors are asked to notify the court staff if they have any connection with the case -- they know one of the witnesses or something -- but other than that, they're a randomly-selected panel of 12 men and women, and that's it.

The judge tells them it's their duty to try the case on the basis of the evidence they hear in court, and only that evidence, so they must discount anything they may have heard or read about the case, and set aside any personal preferences and prejudices and try the case fairly and on its merits. And that's it. I think our trials are perfectly fair, and certainly no less fair than US ones, from what I've read.
Having recently served jury duty for a criminal case here in Atlanta, I can describe the process. Fulton County has a population of one million people (the City of Atlanta is part of this county). So it has a lot of court cases. They randomly select people for jury duty from voter and driver's license data. That data identifies you as living in the county. There were about 300 people called that day, all waiting in a big room for cases to call us. A group of 60 was called for my case, a combination of rape plus theft of property. First we all got asked a series of questions by the judge, and had to hold up signs like the ones used in auctions to indicate yes. Examples were "have you ever been convicted of a crime", and "do you know any of the parties or lawyers in this case". There were a lot of questions. The prosecution and defense took notes while this went on. Then they sent us to the hall, and brought back in groups of twelve to the jury box, to be interviewed individually by the prosecutor and defense counsel. Their questions were based partly on the earlier answers, but also about what your job is, etc. After that, we went out again, and after private discussions by the judge and lawyers, some of us got excused. We were done, and could go home. Whenever they got sufficient jurors and alternates that nobody objected to, the remainder of the jury pool was excused.

My impression is the US system is not just being told it is our duty to only try on the basis of the evidence. Rather, they try very hard to ferret out any reason we might actually have a bias, or not be able to try the case fairly and completely. For example, one woman in my group of 12 was hispanic, and her english was poor. She raised this during her individual interview, and later got excused. Another woman was on crutches because she had recently been in an auto accident, and was in a lot of pain. She also got excused. Overall, I was impressed by how thorough the system was.
 

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Having recently served jury duty for a criminal case here in Atlanta, I can describe the process. Fulton County has a population of one million people (the City of Atlanta is part of this county). So it has a lot of court cases. They randomly select people for jury duty from voter and driver's license data. That data identifies you as living in the county. There were about 300 people called that day, all waiting in a big room for cases to call us. A group of 60 was called for my case, a combination of rape plus theft of property. First we all got asked a series of questions by the judge, and had to hold up signs like the ones used in auctions to indicate yes. Examples were "have you ever been convicted of a crime", and "do you know any of the parties or lawyers in this case". There were a lot of questions. The prosecution and defense took notes while this went on. Then they sent us to the hall, and brought back in groups of twelve to the jury box, to be interviewed individually by the prosecutor and defense counsel. Their questions were based partly on the earlier answers, but also about what your job is, etc. After that, we went out again, and after private discussions by the judge and lawyers, some of us got excused. We were done, and could go home. Whenever they got sufficient jurors and alternates that nobody objected to, the remainder of the jury pool was excused.

My impression is the US system is not just being told it is our duty to only try on the basis of the evidence. Rather, they try very hard to ferret out any reason we might actually have a bias, or not be able to try the case fairly and completely. For example, one woman in my group of 12 was hispanic, and her english was poor. She raised this during her individual interview, and later got excused. Another woman was on crutches because she had recently been in an auto accident, and was in a lot of pain. She also got excused. Overall, I was impressed by how thorough the system was.
I've gotten many jury summons in my life. Nearly every time, my group is excused the night before, so I never had to show up. Twice, I had to appear. One of those times, I sat in the jury lounge for several hours but was eventually excused without going into the courtroom. Only once did I actually go into the courtroom, and the process was pretty much exactly as you described. I was excused, but I don't remember the reason why, or if I was even told why. They are very meticulous in their jury selection.