/  02.28.2022

Jussie Smollett is seeking either a new trial or a not guilty verdict after claiming his rights were violated during his December trial. 

According to NBC News, the former “Empire” actor filed an 83-page document claiming that his constitutional rights were violated when the court stopped him and his legal team from actively participating in the jury selection process last year.

Now, Smollett is seeking a re-trial in Chicago or a vacated conviction. As reported by REVOLT, he was previously convicted of five of six counts of felony disorderly conduct after making false police reports about being the victim of a staged hate crime in 2019.

During that trial, Smollett and his lawyers claim the court “made numerous trial errors leading up to the trial and during the pendency of the trial.”

His legal team says they were not allowed to ask potential jurors questions during the jury selection process, which they argue prevented them from discovering whether any jurors were biased against the actor.

In the filing, Smollett’s attorneys also brought up one juror who told the court she had several family members that were either currently or previously in law enforcement.

The actor’s lawyers also argued that the evidence presented in court was “insufficient and inconsistent so that no reasonable trier of fact could have found Mr. Smollett guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and thus there is evidence that the jury verdict was contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence.”

“As such, the Defendant now respectfully requests that his convictions be vacated or in the alternative, that the Court grant the Defendant a new trial,” it states.

Smollett’s lawyers previously announced their intention to appeal his conviction, which carries a maximum three-year prison sentence and $25,000 fine. The 39-year-old is set to be sentenced on March 10.

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