WINDY CITY TIMES
||Judge decides against releasing report in Smollett case
by Emily Reilly
This article shared 1730 times since Fri Aug 28, 2020
On Aug. 28, Judge Michael Toomin refused to release a 60-page grand jury report regarding the handling of the Jussie Smollett case.
Smolletta gay former actor who was on the TV show Empire as well as movies such as The Skinny and Alien: Covenantwas accused of staging a hate crime on himself on January 2019. Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx dropped the 16 felony counts; her office was then the subject of the investigation regarding their handling of the case. Smollett has since been indicted again for new charges brought up by a special prosecutor. The full release of this grand jury report regarding the investigation of the case's directives was the center of debate.
The hearing focused on the directive that investigates the Chicago Police Department ( CPD ) and any offices that may have conducted wrongdoing in Smollett's case. Special prosecutor Dan Webb began by explaining that releasing the report would still be fair for Smollett's trial because it focused on CPD and the Cook County state's attorney's office, not Smollett.
Webb argued in favor of releasing his report to the public. Ruben Castillo, a former chief judge representing Foxx's office, argued in favor of obtaining at least five business days to look over the report and comment. Toomin ruled against releasing the report at all.
Foxx and her team were the subject of backlash due to the case's mishandeling, which consequently affected the 2020 election for Cook County State's attorney. Castillo feared that by releasing the grand jury report, which was stated to have included ethical violations by Foxx's office, it would damage reputations.
Castillo spoke next in defense that releasing the report might damage reputations that are built "little by little, hour by hour and damaged by inaccurate facts and conclusions." He believed releasing the report would affect Smollett's right to a fair trial and argued in favor of a motion to allow them to review and comment before its release.
Webb countered by stating that there is no basis under Illinois law to grant Castillo's motion, saying that he had satisfied the need for the release and that their firm could "make all the public comments they want."
Toomin then officially made the decision not to release the report. His reasoning was that the special prosecutor had access to outside materials in addition to the grand jury report. Toomin also mentioned the influence of the national ( and international ) coverage of the case had lessened the need for the full report.
This article shared 1730 times since Fri Aug 28, 2020
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|WORLD Ghana turmoil, Malaysia case, Copenhagen 2021, Brazil churches|
Anti-gay outcry has forced Ghana's first LGBT+ community center to temporarily close to protect its staff and visitors three weeks after it opened, Reuters reported. Church groups, politicians and anti-gay rights groups have called on the ...
|Equality Act would provide federal civil rights protections to 13M LGBTs|
--From a press release - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, federal legislation that would expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity under existing civil rights laws. LGBT ...
|One-third of gay, bisexual men who take PrEP discontinue within three years
--From a press release - Familiarity and favorable attitudes towards PrEP have increased over time, though use remains low A new study from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds a significant increase in familiarity with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) ...
|Advocates, legislators introduce bill to
decriminalize HIV in Illinois |
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD, IL - Legislation was introduced in Springfield this week to end criminal penalties against people living with HIV (PLWH), which serve only to stigmatize and discriminate against PLWH. Current Illinois law makes legal behavior — ...
|Newman, Taylor Greene clash over Equality Act|
Illinois U.S. Rep. Marie Newman's push to pass the Equality Act—a law that would ban discrimination against LGBTQ Americans—has put her at odds with controversial Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, according to The Chicago Tribun ...
|1.3 million adult immigrants in the US identify as LGBT
--From a press release - LGBT immigrants are more often male and younger compared to all immigrants in the country An estimated 1,274,500 LGBT foreign-born adults live in the U.S., including 289,700 who are undocumented and 984,800 who are documented, according ...
|Gov. Pritzker signs legislation transforming Illinois criminal justice system|
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Building on efforts to create a more equitable and safe criminal justice system, Governor JB Pritzker signed landmark legislation that transforms Illinois' criminal justice system. This landmark legislation ...
|NATIONAL Virginia items, Marriott CEO, Black LGBTQ+ icons, trans kids' book|
Virginia lawmakers are about to roll back a state law that allows faith-based adoption and foster-care agencies to refuse service to LGBTQ families, VirginiaMercury.com reported. The legislation has spurred heated ...
|Showbiz: Black gay director, Oscars, soccer couple, Demi Lovato|
Paris Barclay, the Emmy-winning TV director and former president of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), will receive the guild's Honorary Life Member Award at the 73rd Annual DGA Awards on April 10, TheWrap reported. Barclay ...
|WORLD Canadian groups, Moroccan refugee, LGBT+ Rights Ghana, trans heroine|
From $400,000 in funding for a national initiative aimed at expanding two-spirit advocacy, to $239,000 to improve LGBTQ youth housing access in the Prairies, 76 Canadian community groups are being sent nearly $15 million from the ...
|Commission: Jamaica should repeal same-sex ban
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the top rights body of the Americas, said in a symbolic landmark ruling on Feb. 17 that Jamaica should repeal its colonial-era gay sex ban, Reuters reported. Two Jamaicans ...
|NATIONAL: Missing gay man, paramedic's suit, Equality Act, Bayard Rustin|
San Francisco police are seeking the public's help finding a gay man who went missing, seemingly without a trace, The Bay Area Reporter noted. The mother of Christopher J. Woitel, 50, last heard from him Jan. ...
|WORLD School items, Olympics, Angola law, Dutch senate|
Toronto's Catholic school board reinstated the link to an LGBT support phone line on its website following outrage from the community, according to Yahoo! News, citing The Canadian Press. The school board removed LGBT YouthLine from ...
|Man charged with vandalizing Ald. Lopez's office
A man has been charged with spray-painting the office of Chicago Ald. Raymond Lopez, according to a Chicago Sun-Times item. Antonio Torres, 28, of the 3900 block of South Artesian Avenue, was arrested and charged with ...
|PASSAGES Robert Thomas Cichocki, J.D. dies at 70|
Robert Thomas Cichocki, J.D., passed away peacefully at home in Chicago's Lake View neighborhood on Feb. 5. He was 70. After earning his B.A. from Wayne State University and his J.D. from The John Marshall Law ...