John Legend criticises Felicity Huffman’s 14-day prison sentence for college cheating scandal: ‘Jails are not the answer’

Ellie Harrison

John Legend has criticised Felicity Huffman’s 14-day prison sentence for her involvement in the college admissions cheating scandal.

The Desperate Housewives actor was one of a group of wealthy parents accused of a widespread conspiracy to cheat and game the US university entrance system.

Legend, a singer-songwriter who is an advocate for criminal justice reform, has now weighed in on the debate about Huffman’s sentence, which many have been claiming was shortened due to her “white privilege”.

Others, meanwhile, have argued the actor doesn’t deserve to go to prison for her crime.

In a series of tweets, Legend suggested Americans have become “desensitised” to the US prison system.

“I get why everyone gets mad when rich person X gets a short sentence and poor person of colour Y gets a long one,” Legend wrote. “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.”

He added: “Americans have become desensitised to how much we lock people up. 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 also argued that nothing is gained by putting Huffman behind bars for 14 days.

As well as her sentence, Huffman was fined $30,000 and given a year of supervised release. She was also given 250 hours of community service after being accused of paying $15,000 to have someone correct her oldest daughter’s answers on an SAT exam.