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John Legend lashes out against bribery-scandal Huffman’s jail time

(File photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

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Musician John Legend took issue with actress Felicity Huffman being sentenced to 14 days in prison for her part in the college admissions bribery scandal.

And while he may have a point in the eyes of some, he may have taken his argument a little too far when he used her case to minimize illegal voting.

Of course, Legend’s judgement may already be in question, given that he’s married to Chrissy Teigen — after the singer dragged first lady Melania Trump into his hatred of her husband, President Donald Trump, the president ripped Legend’s “filthy mouthed wife,” who quickly responded with a tweet proving Trump right.

Legend is seen as an advocate for criminal justice reform and he launched a series of tweets after a federal judge sentenced the Desperate Housewives actress, ordering her to pay a fine of $30,000 and perform 250 hours of community service, in addition to two weeks in the can.

While he felt the sentence was too harsh, the phrase “white privilege” was trending on Twitter after the sentence was handed down, prompted by those who felt she got off easy.

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

“Americans have become desensitized to how much we lock people up,” he added. “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 complained about cases that have drawn jail sentences, to include voting illegally — ignoring the legal standard that ignorance of the law is no excuse in the latter case.

“It’s insane we locked a woman up for 5 years for sending her kid to the wrong school district,” Legend said in another tweet. “Literally everyone involved in that decision should be ashamed of themselves.”

“It’s unconscionable that we locked a woman up for voting when, unbeknownst to her, she was ineligible.”

Tanya McDowell, an African-American mother from Connecticut, was sentenced to five years in prison in 2012 for enrolling her son in a school district where he did not live

Legend concluded by saying no one benefits from locking Huffman up for cheating on college admission.

“Her sentence shouldn’t be fewer years. It should be ZERO,” he tweeted.

“And no one in our nation will benefit from the 14 days an actress will serve for cheating in college admissions. We don’t need to lock people up for any of this stuff.”

There was an interesting online debate on crime and punishment, and equality in the reactions to the series of tweets.

Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:

Tom Tillison


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