That actress Felicity Huffman will go to jail for only 14 days over college entrance fraud shows there are really two justice systems in the US: one for the rich, famous and politically correct – and another for everyone else.
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.
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.
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.
er 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.”
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.