Felicity Huffman’s 14-DAY sentence shows you can get away with ANYTHING if you’re rich & famous
The ‘Desperate Housewives’ star pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to falsify her daughter Sophia’s SAT – a college admissions test – and was sentenced to two weeks in jail, 250 hours of community service, a $30,000 fine and a year of supervised release. Altogether, a slap on the wrist to a Hollywood celebrity.
Judge Indira Talwani has sentenced Felicity Huffman to 14 days in jail. She is also imposing a fine of $30,000, a year of supervised release, and 250 hours of community service.— julia reinstein 🚡 (@juliareinstein) September 13, 2019
It did not take long for her case to be contrasted with the fate of Tanya McDowell, a Connecticut woman who falsified a residency document in 2011 to enroll her son in a better school. McDowell ended up getting jailed for five years for first-degree larceny, and would have faced an even longer sentence had she not made a deal with prosecutors.
Comparing the two cases is absolutely apples to apples. That McDowell was later charged with selling drugs to undercover police officers and given a concurrent sentence does not change the severity of her initial punishment – 130 times longer than was meted out to Huffman.
Underprivileged black woman criminalized for simply changing the address so her son can school in a better district while a rich white woman barely gets criminalized for intentionally committing a crime to get her child into collegeTanya McDowell- 5 YEARSHuffman- 30 days pic.twitter.com/xAD5x3o81I— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) September 8, 2019
Could it be that it’s because Huffman is white and McDowell is black, and the US justice system is irreparably racist, as a lot of people have argued?
Another possibility could be Huffman’s fame, fortune – and politics.
After her arrest in April, Huffman was revealed to have donated over $10,000 to Democrats, including over $1,500 to the Senate campaign of Kamala Harris – the tough-on-crime prosecutor in San Francisco and California, now running for president.
Her community service will no doubt involve another #Resistance stunt like the January 2017 Women’s March. Huffman made a big deal at the time of taking both her daughters to the feminist event protesting the election and inauguration of President Donald Trump.
The fine is pocket change to an actress of her caliber, and jail time will mean nothing in California, where there has already been a push to redefine felons as “justice-involved persons.”Also on rt.com Hypocrisy, privilege and bribes: Celebrities caught in college admissions fraud scandal
Huffman is the first parent to get sentenced in the so-called ‘Varsity Blues’ scandal, which blew up in April. It has ensnared more than 50 people across the US, including parents, coaches, test administrators, college staff and a number of employees at something called the Key Worldwide Foundation.
Federal prosecutors have claimed that the southern California outfit accepted some $25 million in bribes from parents between 2011 and 2018, posing as a charity in order to guarantee their children admission to elite schools.
“These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,” US Attorney Andrew Lelling said at the time, announcing the charges. Friday’s sentence proves him right, if not in the way he intended.
Huffman lived up to her reputation as an actress in court on Friday, crying and apologizing for all the damage she has inflicted – to her daughter Sophia, mind you, not whichever family was cheated out of sending their child to college by her fraud.
“I am deeply ashamed of what I have done,” she said.
That’s an interesting choice of words. For the past decade, her husband William H. Macy – who was not indicted in the scheme – has been the lead star of the comedy drama named ‘Shameless.’ The irony is so thick, it could serve as a sandwich spread.
Nebojsa Malic, senior writer at RT
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