A judge has ruled to allow cameras inside the courtroom for the Jussie Smollett’s hearing over allegedly filing a false police report.
On Tuesday, Smollett arrived at the Cook County Courthouse to “show up and show respect to the court,” as his attorney, Mark Geragos, filed paperwork to request permission to represent Smollett in Illinois for Thursday’s hearing. Although his presence was not required, according to NBC, Smollett wanted “to hold his head up high [and] show confidence in his innocence.”
“[He plans] to go the extra mile” to prove his innocence,” said Anne Kavanagh, a spokesperson for Smollett’s legal team. “He’s not hiding from anything. He will do everything he needs to do.”
The hearing also addressed the decision to allow cameras in the courtroom during Smollett’s hearing, which neither party denied – highlighting the opportunity it presents to show the truth.
“We welcome cameras in the courtroom so that the public and the media can see the actual evidence and what we believe is actually going to be a lack of evidence against Mr. Smollett,” one of Smollett’s attorneys said of the ruling.
However, according to reports, Thursday’s presiding judge will have the final say on whether cameras will be allowed in Smollett’s next appearance.
In the meantime, Smollett is facing 16-counts for filing a false report, in a new move that Smollett’s attorney, Geragos, has called “prosecutorial overkill.” However, according to former legal officials, that’s simply how the Cook County state’s attorney’s office does business.
“It is a common practice for the Cook County State’s attorney to charge as much as they can for any kind of crime,” defense attorney Joseph Lopez said. While, former state appellate judge, David Erickson, said it was just a way to have something stick.
“If you only charge him with one or two counts and they find him not guilty of them, you’re done. This gives the prosecution the ability to convict him of any one of these lies.”
However, Smollett maintains his innocence.