A Cook County judge vacated a sealing order that had kept the case file removed from the public eye following intense public scrutiny over the prosecution’s handling and dismissal of the high-profile case.
Cook County State's Attorney
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her top assistant will not have to testify about their dismissal of criminal charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett despite a request for a special prosecutor to investigate how that case was handled.
President Donald Trump used a ceremony for fallen law enforcement officers on Wednesday to criticize big-city prosecutors he asserts don’t go after criminals who pose a severe threat to public safety. He singled out prosecutors in Chicago and Philadelphia.
Judge LeRoy Martin Jr. insisted Friday he was merely transferring the matter, not recusing himself.
Retired appellate judge Sheila O’Brien is calling for a special prosecutor to investigate what she has called the “mishandling” of the Jussie Smollett case. On Thursday, she accused the presiding judge of a possible conflict of interest.
Anger about the decision to drop all charges against Jussie Smollett could undermine Kim Foxx’s efforts to overhaul the nation’s second-largest district attorney’s office, which for decades has been seen as too aggressive.
The brothers say Smollett's legal team knowingly made defamatory, false statements, claiming the pair had carried out a real hate crime against their client.
Kim Foxx said in a written statement Friday that she doesn’t want any comments by her to interfere with the inspector general’s work compiling “reliable and accurate records” on the matter.
Weeks after recusing herself from the felony prosecution of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx sent texts to her second-in-command about the case, saying it appeared the office was “overcharging” the actor.
Cook County state’s attorney recused herself this week from Smollett case
Former Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez this week blasted her successor Kim Foxx for not “doing her job” after Foxx recused herself from the investigation into claims made by “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.
In announcing the plan, the Cook County state’s attorney said her office must avoid “needlessly bringing people into the criminal justice system” and instead focus on prosecuting violent crime cases.
Thomas Sierra, 41, spent more than half his life in prison, convicted of a murder he has claimed from the beginning he didn’t commit. On Tuesday, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office dropped the charges. “It’s a bittersweet situation,” Sierra said.
“It’s a brand new beginning for me,” said Leonard Gipson, one of 15 men who had drug convictions vacated by a judge Thursday. The convictions stemmed from arrests made more than a decade ago by disgraced former Chicago Police Sgt. Ronald Watts.
A first-of-its-kind report released Tuesday by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office details more than 30,000 felony cases presented for prosecution in 2016.
Kim Foxx is the first African-American woman to hold the position of Cook County State’s Attorney. She joins host Carol Marin to discuss her plans for the office.