Cook County Judge Says It Might Take A While Before Jussie Smollett Case Files Can Be Unsealed

Written by on April 11, 2019

Fourth Estate Staff

Chicago, IL, United States (4E) – Public uproar ensued after city prosecutor dropped the case against Jussie Smollett for falsely reporting the hate crime of which he made himself appear to be the victim, and now there are demands to reopen the case as many believe that it was not handled properly.

Several media organizations, including The Associate Press, have requested the court to allow the public to look at the sealed court file in Smollett’s case. Judge Steven Watkins of Cook County, however, said on Tuesday that he cannot issue an order to open the case files yet because there is no emergency or compelling reason that would require him to make an immediate ruling on the motion, Fox News reported.

At the very least, it will take several weeks before a judge can make a decision as to whether the public will be allowed to take a look at sealed case documents. Watkins has already set a schedule for the presentation of arguments and a decision can be expected in late May.

The decision of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to drop the case against the ‘Empire’ actor has been met with heavy criticism and protests. The Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association said Foxx and her associates “fundamentally misled the public on the law and circumstances surrounding the dismissal,” AP reported.

Foxx defended her position, saying they did what was appropriate for a case that involved someone without prior criminal record.

Protests erupted in Chicago on Monday as different groups squabbled over the handling of Smollett’s case. While some took the side of the embattled prosecutor others, such as the Fraternal Order of Police, called for Foxx’s ouster.

Meanwhile, Chicago city officials have order Smollett to pay $130,000 to cover the cost of the investigation into the police report he filed about being attacked in Chicago by masked men.

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