Parents will do anything for their kids: they will cook for them, drive them to see their friends and hold their hands when they are scared. However, would any parent go to jail for fourteen days to solidify their kid attending a college that they got into with a “paid for” SAT score?
Felicity Huffman, one of the many celebrities involved in the college admissions scandal, was sentenced to just 14 days in prison. While the crimes she and many others have committed require consequences, they must be harsher and streamlined across the board for all people alike, in order to make sure the bad habits are not reverted back to when the required punishment is over.
TMZ reported that according to the judge that oversaw Huffman's hearing, she received a lower sentence for two reasons. Allegedly, Huffman had almost immediate acceptance of responsibility for what she did and paid one of the smallest bribes to boost her daughter's college entrance exam score.
Actress Felicity Huffman departing from the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on Friday after her sentencing. Photo credit: New York Times
This reasoning does little to show the public the weight of this issue. Since the punishment was soft, other people involved may think they will also be left off lightly. Lori Loughlin, who instead chose to fight the charges and not argue a plea deal, now has an upper hand in her trial given the justification for Huffman.
No matter the timeline and amount of money paid, each individual should experience the same strict punishment for cheating their way into schools and robbing qualified applicants of their spot on campus. For example, MarieClaire magazine reported on the fact that angry Instagram users commented on @NBCNews when they posted a report on Huffman’s sentence. In the comments of the post, people weighed in with their opinions of the short, two-week sentence. They argued that it was unfair since a mother who was homeless at the time, Tanya McDowell, was sentenced to five years in prison for enrolling her son in a school that was outside her listed district. The mother, who had no other schooling options for her child should not be sentenced a 130 times greater sentence than a wealthy, celebrity who paid her way into school.
Another question that Americans should be asking however is, is prison the best way to punish individuals? Celebrity John Legend argues that Americans have become “desensitized to the US prison system” and it should not be the solution to every societal ill.” People continue to support the stop of mass incarcerations, which continues to grow and whose numbers have skyrocketed lately. To deter these kind of actions, parent offenders and their children should be more strictly punished instead of jailed. There should be a harsh fine imposed on the individuals and their children should be expelled from their respective school.
Many Americans, including celebrity John Legend, are displeased with how prison and jail have become a big means through which societal problems can be fixed. This pie chart illustrates the reasons behind mass incarcerations in the United States, but different consequences should be thought of to curb this staggering rate. Infographic credit: Prisonpolicy.org
This stronger sentence will right the wrongs of this societal flaw and prevent present and future participants in the college scandal from getting off the hook untouched.
Loughlin (right) is another parents involved in the college admission scandal, but Huffman (left) is the first parent to be sentenced. In addition to the minimal 14 days in jail, Judge Indira Talwani said Huffman must serve 12 months of supervised release, 250 hours of community service and pay a $30,000 fine. Photo credit: People