Jussie Smollett to learn fate after staged attack conviction

Jussie Smollett
Posted at 1:48 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 13:53:53-05

CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett is returning to a Chicago courtroom on Thursday for sentencing with just two questions hanging over his head: Will he admit that he lied about a racist, homophobic attack, and will a judge send him to jail?

Attorneys have not spoken much since Smollett was convicted in December of lying to police.

The former "Empire" actor faces up to three years in prison per count and a $25,000 fine for each count, the Associated Press reported.

But prosecutors could focus on how Smollett's scheme might make it harder to believe real crime victims or make those victims reluctant to come forward.

Smollett and others could testify about charity work Smollett has done, his character, and the fact that the case has already left his career in shambles.

During the weeklong trial, jurors heard testimony from brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who testified that Smollett paid them “to fake beat him up” and helped plan the fake hoax to get publicity.

Smollett maintained during the nearly three-year legal battle that the attack was real.

The AP reported that, unlike the trial, the judge has allowed TV cameras to be present during the sentencing.

On Thursday, Smollett is also slated to give a statement, and his lawyers get to present witnesses, the news outlet reported.