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John Legend Defends Felicity Huffman’s 14 Day Prison Sentence: ‘Jails Are Not The Answer’

Amid the uproar over actress Felicity Huffman's prison sentence of just 14 days for her participation in the infamous college admissions scandal, singer John Legend says that proper justice may have been done.
"I get why everyone gets mad when rich person X gets a short sentence and poor person of color Y gets a long one," Legend tweeted Saturday, according to Fox News. "The answer isn't for X to get more; it's for both of them to get less (or even none!!!) We should level down not up."
"Americans have become desensitized to how much we lock people up," Legend continued. "Prisons and jails are not the answer to every bad thing everyone does, but we've come to use them to address nearly every societal ill."
Legend then referenced the case of Kelly Williams-Bolar, who received a five-year sentence in 2011 (later suspended to just 10 days) for using a relative's home address in order to enroll her child into a better public school.
"It's insane we locked a woman up for 5 years for sending her kid to the wrong school district. Literally everyone involved in that decision should be ashamed of themselves," said Legend. "It's unconscionable that we locked a woman up for voting when, unbeknownst to her, she was ineligible. Her sentence shouldn't be fewer years. It should be ZERO. And no one in our nation will benefit from the 14 days an actress will serve for cheating in college admissions. We don't need to lock people up for any of this stuff."
This past April, Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty for her role in "Operation Varsity Blues," confessing to paying $15,000 to an admissions consultant to manipulate her older daughter's SAT answers. In a statement at the time, Huffman said she accepted full responsibility for her actions and apologized.
"I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions," Huffman said in the statement. "I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community. I want to apologize to them."
"I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly," she continued. "My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her. This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty."
While District Judge Indira Talwani agreed with Huffman's sentence, federal prosecutors argued she should receive a month in jail along with a $20,000 fine and 12 months of supervised release.
"She told you this crime resulted from the bewilderment of being a mom," Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen told the judge. "With all due respect, welcome to parenthood. It's terrifying and stressful. What parenthood does not do, it does not make you a felon. It doesn't make you a cheat. This was a purposeful criminal act. The defendant knew it was wrong. She even noted an increase [in payment] could trigger an investigation. She mulled it over. She participated in the scheme. She lied to move the test. She called the College Board to make sure the test had been shipped. Happy with the results, she paid Singer $15,000 and considered doing it again. She sent the scores to colleges nationwide. But for her arrest, she would have succeeded."
"This was not a blunder or mistake. This was intentional, " Rosen continued. "She showed contempt for the law and should be punished for her actions. Similarly situated defendants should also go to prison for their crime."

1 comment:

  1. where was john legend In 2011, Tanya McDowell wanted a better education for her then 5-year-old son Andrew, and enrolled him in an elementary school in the neighboring town of Norwalk — using her son’s babysitter’s address for registration papers. At the time, she and her son were living out of her van and homeless shelters, and spending nights at an apartment in Bridgeport, the Connecticut Post had reported.

    The mother was arrested and charged with first-degree larceny and served five years