Last week, Paul Manafort received a 47-month sentence for tax and bank fraud, while Jussie Smollett, a Black actor, was charged with 16 felonies and faces up to 64 years for lying to police – a stark example of a criminal system replete with double standards and racial disparities.
The solution to ending mass incarceration and sentencing inequity is not harsher sentences for people like Manafort. Rather, the criminal system should reduce sentences and promote alternatives to incarceration.
Last week, Americans got a front row seat to the two systems of justice we have in America, one reserved for rich white men and the other for communities of color. Unfortunately, though, many people may have drawn the wrong lessons from these examples.
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