CHICAGO (CBS) — After the stunning move to drop all charges against Jussie Smollett, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office told CBS 2 they’ve handled thousands of cases the same way.
CBS 2’s Megan Hickey dug into a list of examples they gave and fact checked whether they really are the same — not an easy task because the data was incomplete and filled with errors.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Overnight Storm Threat
But CBS 2 was able to discern that there are very few, if any, cases in the program that are exactly like Smollett’s.
“The Class 4 felony and no background are a background that we can expect from this type of case,” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said.
She insists that prosecutors handled the disorderly conduct charges against Jussie Smollett the same way they do in thousands of other low-level felony cases.
This comes after producing two example cases earlier this week, including the felony marijuana case of Terrae Washington.
Washington does not believe Smollett’s charges should have been dropped in the same way.
The state’s attorney’s office sent a list of about 6,000 cases referred to an alternative prosecution program in the first two years of the Foxx administration.READ MORE: Chicago Lead Water Pipe Replacement Program Hasn't Started, But It's Already Being Expanded
The problem is according to the data set, more than 1,400 of those cases involved the defendant pleading and/or being found guilty, something Smollett never had to do.
“I don’t know why they gave you those because that defeats what they’re trying to tell you,” CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller said.
In response, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office told CBS 2 that not all the defendants who are referred to the program actually accept or qualify, and the data includes post plea programs.
Identity theft, narcotics and forgery are the most common charges in this list of felony cases that were dropped.
Of the 6000 cases in this database, only 28 cases had at least one charge having to do with the statute that covers filing false reports, and several of those cases involved those defendants having to plead guilty.
Miller said this data set confirms that Smollett’s case is anything but ordinary when it comes to dropping charges.
“To try to justify things on other factors such as criminal background, the type of crime, whether or not restitution was involved and probably the most important factor, did he admit his guilty? You’re not going to come up with everything that fits perfectly together to try to justify this. It’s not gonna happen,” he said.MORE NEWS: With COVID On Rise, Some Bars Are Willing To Require Proof Of Vaccinations To Avoid Another Shutdown
Meanwhile Jussie Smollett is nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 50th NAACP Image Awards Saturday night. It’s still unclear whether Smollett plans to attend.