Statement of Special Prosecutor Dan K. Webb Regarding Appellate Court’s Affirmance of Convictions and Sentence of Jussie Smollett

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Special Prosecutor Dan K. Webb and Winston & Strawn LLP are pleased that the appellate court has affirmed Jussie Smollett’s felony convictions and sentence, including his term of incarceration and the full restitution owed to the City of Chicago of over $130,000 for overtime costs in investigating the staged fake hate crime.

Special Prosecutor Dan. K. Webb stated as follows:

“As the appellate court noted, Mr. Smollett ‘challenge[d] virtually every aspect of’ the prosecution, and the appellate court correctly rejected each and every one of those challenges. Today’s decision is a validation of Winston & Strawn’s tireless work on this matter and a resounding victory for justice. We are proud to have prevailed in a case that, we believe, can help restore the public’s confidence in the Cook County justice system.”

“When Judge Michael B. Toomin appointed me as Special Prosecutor in the Smollett case, the firm debated internally and determined that taking the case—and doing so pro bono with no compensation to the firm—was simply the right thing to do. It was a unique opportunity for a major law firm to give back to a community whose faith in the local justice system had been shaken by how poorly the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (CCSAO) had first handled the Smollett matter. Winston & Strawn has always had a deep dedication to pro bono service, and this appointment was one more way we could serve our community and restore the public’s faith in the state’s criminal justice system.”

“Our lawyers devoted over 4 years and more than 15,000 hours examining the original Smollett investigation and bringing renewed charges against him. After that worthwhile effort yielded a conviction on five counts of felony disorderly conduct at the trial level, we could not be more gratified that justice has been served once again.”

“The appellate court’s decision affirms that the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate Mr. Smollett’s staged fake hate crime was justified. As the court also concluded, the record clearly established that Mr. Smollett did not enter into a non-prosecution agreement with the CCSAO that barred another prosecution for the same offense. In fact, the appellate court held that there was ‘no ambiguity’ as to what occurred between Mr. Smollett and the CCSAO, which ‘only agreed to nol-pros the charges against Smollett.’ Given the absence of a non-prosecution agreement, the appellate court correctly found that ‘reprosecuting Smollett was not fundamentally unfair.’ We respectfully disagree with the dissenting justice’s opinion and its conclusions, which the appellate court noted were unsupported by the trial court record and Illinois law.”

“I want to provide a special thanks to Deputy Special Prosecutors Sean G. Wieber, Samuel Mendenhall, and the entire team at Winston & Strawn who assisted in this matter, for all of their dedication and efforts over the years that has led to this result. We hope this decision will reassure the community that our legal system is fair, just, and impartial.”


Michael Goodwin

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Sneha Satish

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