The harm that false accusations can bring


Photo provided by the Chicago Police Department

After the confession by his supposed accomplices, Smollett was arrested by Chicago PD.

Christian Moore, Writer

Throughout history, the one phrase the American justice system has sworn to stand by is “Innocent until proven guilty.” In recent years, and in some cases not so recent, the fact of the matter is that this platitude may be less true than Americans would like to think.

On January 29th, 2019, a hate crime was supposedly committed. Actor Jussie Smollett claimed to be assaulted by two people that he claimed were supporters of President Trump, by their apparel and statements of “This is MAGA country.” The alleged crime took place in Chicago, one of the most liberal cities in the country. Now, more and more facts about the case have come forward. Smollett kept a rope around his neck that the attackers supposedly used on him, he held onto the sandwich he had, he pointed out a camera that wasn’t out in the open, and to top it all off he wouldn’t show the police his phone records. When he did, there was redacted information. Reminiscent of when Nixon edited all the tapes of his conversation to redact “confidential information.” Now, two Nigerian men have confessed that Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the attack and that Smollett himself bought the rope, and even before any charges were brought, he hired a criminal defense lawyer. Now, he’s been arrested. One of few cases where these people’s claims have been shattered, only due to the fact that for once the justice system did its job.

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The appointment of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was momentous for the shock value his accuser brought to the country, now silent as her fifteen minutes of fame are up.











A landmark decision was made last year, one involving the Supreme Court and the judge that would replace former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Former Appeals Court judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to SCOTUS shook the country for the accusation made by Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford, but as the days went on and on, her support and opposition — especially her opposition — grew more tense and heated. The witnesses she named all denied her claims, the offers they made to fly her across the country were all denied by Ford herself, and when the hearing finally came she displayed some bizarre, to say the least, changes in character. One minute she’s distraught and the next she’s giggling up at California Senior Senator Dianne Feinstein. Now, Kavanaugh has been appointed. Ford has suddenly gone into silence, along with the $647, 610 she garnered from GoFundMe. Many of her former supporters still say Kavanaugh is guilty, but charges against him were never made. Innocent until proven guilty, right?

Photo provided by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections
Avery waits on appeal for his murder conviction still, with his nephew unfortunately not out of the frying pan yet either.













In 1985, a Manitowoc resident named Penny Beerntsen picked Steven Avery out of a police lineup and her testimony helped send the innocent man to prison for 18 years. The Netflix series ‘Making a Murderer’ details the gross miscarriage of justice carried out by Manitowoc County. From county officials confessing they had no good reason to suspect Avery other than the fact of his low status and family’s reputation to actual admittance of foul play in the system, one might think the wrongfully convicted man would pursue legal action. Well, he did. And the very next day the county accused him of murder. He and his nephew were tried and convicted, on doubtful evidence and suspiciously unconvincing defenders, and Avery still seeks appeal.

Ford’s baseless accusations nearly ruined a man’s life as she tried to invent the next Scottsboro boys case. Manitowoc County laughs as Avery and his nephew rot for a murder with still shaky and circumstantial evidence, and Smollett refuses to admit defeat, insisting that the country isn’t nearly as bad as he and the rest of the like-minded people think it is.