Manafort’s Sentencing Spotlights Inequities In The Criminal Justice System

Judge T.S. Ellis’s lenient sentencing highlights the disparities between how white collar crime is treated and crimes committed by those less privileged.

Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort (Graphic By Maddie Anderson and edited by Adam Al-Ali)

Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort (Graphic By Maddie Anderson and edited by Adam Al-Ali)

Today, Judge T.S. Ellis sentenced former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort to 47 months in prison. Manafort’s crimes included 8 counts (5 tax fraud, 2 bank fraud, and 1 of hiding foreign accounts). Special Counsel Robert Mueller recommended 19-24 years in prison given the nature of the crimes, which involved lobbying for foreign dictators and committing financial fraud. In spite of decades of criminal conduct, Judge Ellis claimed that Manafort lived “an otherwise blameless life.”

Paul Manafort also violated his plea agreement in his DC trial. The charges are conspiracy against the U.S. and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Judge Amy Berman Jackson will rule on this next week and Manafort could face an additional 10 years. Manafort showed no remorse for his crimes and later witness tampered to try and cover them up.

Legal experts consider Manafort’s sentencing for fraud charges of this nature to be incredibly lenient. Brooklyn Public Defender Scott Hechinger outlines just how lenient Paul Manafort’s sentence is by comparing it to other crimes:

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Opinion // Criminal Justice / Paul Manafort / Special Counsel