For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 43

bring a unique and invaluable context to the
case or about the client that will be helpful and
productive in some facet of the representation.
Accordingly, you must strike a balance between
accepting input from the client and their inner
circle, while helping the client to filter out the
background noise (no matter how well-intended)
and hear your voice above the crowd's.
Important too, is to be sure the defense team
collectively is on the same page and of like mind.
If there are differing views on the best strategy
or on the interpretation of a gray area of law or
interpretation of fact, flesh that out internally,
outside the ear shot of the client and before
providing guidance on that issue. Do not present a
divided front. The last thing defense counsel wants
to do is add to the noise, the stress and the alltoo-often startling confusion ignited by a criminal
case. Defense counsel should always be clear,
resolute and confident in its advice to the client or
presentation in any context.

Avoid and Control Extrajudicial
Statements
In our view, criminal cases should be tried
within the four corners of the courtroom and
nowhere else. This may be the conservative
approach, but in criminal defense work, all
risks must be mitigated and avoided if possible.
Extrajudicial statements by attorneys or their staff
may jeopardize the right to a fair trial, distract
attention from the actual legal and factual issues
in play, and may create "a carnival atmosphere
that undermines the confidence in the legal
system, furthering public distrust in the legal
profession."13 Attorneys, like all citizens, have a
constitutional right to free speech, but that right
is not absolute and should be exercised by both
the prosecution and defense counsel ethically,
cautiously and with due care.14
The recent criminal case in Chicago involving
television sitcom actor Jussie Smollett is a good
example of the dangers of pretrial publicity to the
prosecution. Cook county State's Attorney office
charged the actor with 16 felony counts stemming
from an allegedly false police report about a
hate crime he claimed to suffer on January 29,
2019. Smollett reported that two unidentifiable
individuals assaulted him, tied a rope noose
around his neck while yelling racial and

homophobic slurs, including you are in "MAGA
country." "MAGA" refers to the controversial
campaign slogan "Make America Great Again,"
employed by then presidential candidate, Donald
Trump, that many critics have characterized as
discriminatory.
After the incident, and the expenditure
of significant state and federal resources
investigating the alleged hate crime, the case took
a 180-degree turn when the prosecution accused
Smollett of concocting the story for purposes
of increasing his celebrity profile and salary. In
a press conference following this dramatic case
development, Chicago Police Superintendent
Eddie Johnson stated:
This announcement today recognizes
that 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett took
advantage of the pain and anger of racism
to promote his career[.] I'm left hanging my
head and asking why. Why would anyone,
especially an African American man, use
the symbolism of a noose to make false
accusations.15
He further accused Smollett of dragging
Chicago's "reputation through the mud", detailed
evidence compiled to date, and claimed Smollett
should apologize for his conduct.
Then, on March 27, 2019, the Cook County
Prosecutor's Office announced the dismissal of
all charges against Smollett. Smollett's defense
counsel released a statement to the press accusing
law enforcement of creating a "smear campaign"
against her client. She elaborated:
We respectfully request all government
agencies involved live up to the ethical
tenants of their office, state and local law,
Supreme Court Rules on trial publicity
as well as the Rules of Professional
Responsibility for lawyers and prosecutors
We will not try this case in a court of public
opinion. There is no case to try. The case
was dismissed. We should all allow Mr.
Smollett to move on with his life as a free
citizen. 16
Local members of the bar and legal experts
across the country marveled at the outcome of this
case, which did not include deferred prosecution
or a probationary sentence of any kind. The Mayor
Vol. 4, Issue 2

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For The Defense

43



For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2

Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 1
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 2
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 4
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 5
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 6
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 7
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 8
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 9
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 10
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 11
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 12
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 13
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 14
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 15
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 16
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 17
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 18
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 19
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 20
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 21
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 22
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 23
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 24
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 25
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 26
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 27
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 28
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 29
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 30
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 31
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 32
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 33
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 34
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 35
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 36
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 37
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 38
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 39
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 40
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 41
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 42
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 43
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 44
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 45
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 2 - 46
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol4_issue4_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol4_issue3_2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol3_issue2_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol3_issue1_2018
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pacdl/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol2_issue3_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pacdl/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol2_issue2_2017
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue4_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue3_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue2_2016
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