Yesterday, Felicity Huffman struck a plea deal — along with a whole lot of other people we’re not mentioning here because they’re not famous! — with prosecutors over the Varsity Blues college-admission scam. In a statement, she delivered a pretty decent apology, crafted with all the care that a PR professional can provide.
In a statement, Felicity Huffman says she’s pleading guilty.— Yashar Ali ðŸ˜ (@yashar) April 8, 2019
“I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly.” pic.twitter.com/T6tx1VUiCE
Yeah, but OK. Is she going to jail? Good question. Maybe! The prosecutors have asked for a prison sentence of 4 to 10 months, while Huffman is requesting something more along the lines of 0-6 months. If the judge splits the difference, Huffman probably goes away for 4 months. But you know how judges can be. Remember when prosecutors recommended 19-24 years of prison for Paul Manafort, and the judge was like, “Nah. Let’s give him four years!” Felicity is very white, very wealthy, and doesn’t pose a violent danger to society. If I were a guessing man, I would guess she’d get something like 30 days in jail. Is that just desserts? I mean, I guess it depends. If you’re comparing her to, say, Paul Manafort or Brock Turner, well, that seems harsh. If you’re comparing her sentence to the black guy who gets three years because he had a dime bag in his car, it seems awfully unequal. And if you want to bring up Jussie Smollett, well, screw you, I’m out. I’m not engaging in that conversation.
Now, Lori Loughlin’s situation is trickier. She wasn’t part of yesterday’s plea deal, although she has been offered a plea deal. Apparently, those plea deals are based on the bribery amounts, and Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, spent $500,000 to get their daughter into college. That amount aligns with a plea deal that would put them in prison for two to two-and-a-half years, according to TMZ. And if they don’t accept the plea? The prosecutors throw some other charges into the mix — like money laundering - and, if convicted, Loughlin and Giannulli could face many more years, although — again — they probably won’t, because they’re white, wealthy, and don’t pose a violent threat.
And as a do-gooder liberal with an ax to grind with the wealthy, I’m firmly caught in between the, “Throw the book at ‘em” camp and the “the justice system is f**ked” camp. In either respect, I feel like the public shaming they have received is probably more damaging than whatever jail time they end up getting.