John Legend is weighing in on Felicity Huffman’s surprise 14-day prison sentence for her part in the college admissions bribery scandal.
The actress was also ordered by a federal judge to pay a fine of $30,000 as well as perform 250 hours of community service. Many criticized the sentence as an example of how low-income individuals and people of color often receive much higher sentences for lesser transgressions.
“I get why everyone gets mad when rich person X gets a short sentence and poor person of color Y gets a long one,” Legend tweeted without directly naming Huffman. “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.
Legend then mentioned some of the cases people cited as examples of inequities in sentencing.
“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, referencing Connecticut mom Tanya McDowell, who in 2012 was sentenced to five years in prison for enrolling her son in a school district where he didn’t live.
“No one in our nation will benefit from the 14 days an actress will serve for cheating in college admissions.”