“Prisons and jails are not the answer”

The ‘Desperate Housewives’ actress was sentenced for her part in a recent college admissions bribery scandal

John Legend has criticised a 14-day prison sentence that was handed down to actress Felicity Huffman over the weekend.

On Friday (September 13) a federal judge sentenced the Desperate Housewives actress for her part in a recent college admissions bribery scandal, and ordered her to pay a fine of $30,000 as well as perform 250 hours of community service.

Having plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud back in May, Huffman is the first to be sentenced among more than 30 parents indicted in a nationwide effort of wealthy families to get their children into high-profile schools using dishonest methods.

The two-week sentence sparked debate online, resulting in Huffman becoming a trending topic. Some said the Emmy-winning actress didn’t deserve to go to prison, while others insisted she should have been given more jail time.

Some of those with the opinion that Huffman should have been given more time cited examples of low-income people and those from minority backgrounds receiving years in prison for minor offences such as stealing a loaf of bread.

One example shared was that of Tanya McDowell, who in 2012 was sentence to five years in prison for enrolling her son in a school district where he didn’t live. McDowell told the court she was seeking a “better education” for her son, according to the Connecticut Post.

Legend, who is an advocate for criminal justice reform, addressed the issue in a series of tweets. Without naming Huffman, the Grammy winner suggested Americans have become “desensitized” to the U.S. prison system.

“I get why everyone gets mad when rich person X gets a short sentence and poor person of color Y gets a long one,” he began. “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. 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,” he continued.

He then proceeded to mention some of the cases cited during the discussion.

“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,” he tweeted.

The ‘Get Lifted’ singer-songwriter went on to argue that nothing can be gained by locking up Huffman for 14 days, writing: “No one in our nation will benefit from the 14 days an actress will serve for cheating in college admissions.”

Meanwhile, Chrissy Teigen has explained her Twitter feud with President Donald Trump.

Last week (September 8), Trump engaged in a tirade of tweets at the model, calling her “filthy mouthed” and attacking her “boring” husband John Legend.

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