Last week it was announced that Felicity Huffman intends to strike a plea deal for her involvement in the college admissions fraud scheme Operation Varsity Blues, in which she’s accused of paying $15,000 to have her daughter Sophia’s SAT scores falsified.
Many are speculating over how much jail time the actress is facing, with federal prosecutors reportedly recommending a sentencing guideline of four to 10 months. Now comes word that the former Desperate Housewives star could face no more than six months.
That’s not good enough for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The freshman congresswoman responded to NBC News investigative journalist Tom Winter’s tweet about Huffman potentially getting a sentence of zero to six months by pointing out the double standards for criminals of “wealth and privilege.”
The New York Democrat accused the justice system — which she called a “class enforcement system” — of treating people of color and low-income citizens more harshly than those, like Huffman, with power and money.
Our country has a “justice” system that criminalizes poverty + disproportionately targets race, yet routinely pardons large-scale crimes of wealth and privilege.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 16, 2019
Moments like these tell us it’s less a justice system, and more a class enforcement system. ⬇️ https://t.co/etlIksWsiy
Many agreed with the politician’s comment about Huffman.
It’s better to be rich and guilty, than poor and innocent 🇺🇸— jrabbit (@jrabbitmusic) April 17, 2019
White privilege.— Angela Belcamino (@AngelaBelcamino) April 17, 2019
If you deny it, you’re part of the problem.
Others dismissed her argument, with several claiming that the dropped charges against Jussie Smollett, who is black, proved that getting a slap on the wrist wasn’t about race or white privilege.
And many commenters said that Huffman doesn’t necessarily deserve a long sentence.
Jail is not good for this or drug offenders either way. She should have to donate lots of money to scholarships for people who can’t afford school.— Michael DeHaan (@laserllama) April 16, 2019
I agree but what is the point of putting her in jail? I would rather see her fined and forced to do something beneficial for society.— Jennifer Lourie (@jenlouriemainer) April 17, 2019
Winter, the reporter whose tweet prompted Ocasio-Cortez’s comment, pointed out that — while many may want to see Huffman punished for trying to cheat the system — her participation in the SAT fraud was relatively minor. By comparison, Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli could each face up to 40 years — though five is more likely — in prison because they allegedly spent $500,000 on fraudulently getting their two daughters into college.
I see a lot of people criticizing this sentence. But in Huffman's case we're talking about her taking a plea on only $15,000 in fraud with no other associated crime on a first time offense. By law you're not doing a lot of time for that federally, no matter who you are.— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) April 17, 2019
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