I don’t blame the media. Have you ever driven past a car wreck and not taken a look? Nor do I blame the audience. There is something compelling about the Jussie Smollett case, an echoing mystery: How could this rich, handsome, apparently smart young man so methodically destroy his career?
Even now, with the actor convicted of staging a hate crime hoax out on bond and all of us waiting, maybe for a year, to see whether he has to spend a few richly-deserved months in jail. Attention must be paid.
Okay then, let’s pay attention.
But is there a law that says everything about the Jussie Smollett case has to be about Jussie Smollett?
Why not meet Sam Mendenhall instead?
Haven’t heard the name? Dan Webb, the special prosecutor assigned to the case after Kim Foxx made an absolute hash of it, wanted the jury to measure Smollett’s character, or lack of same, against a man like Mendenhall, a partner at Winston & Strawn.
“That is absolutely correct,” said Webb, executive co-chair at Winston. “The juxtaposition between Jussie Smollett and everything he did, compared to down-to-earth Sam Mendenhall, telling it like it is, talking about the evidence. He is a great lawyer.”
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