, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
I’m so glad to see people furious that Paul Manafort, a criminal who enriched himself from human rights abuses, used his privilege to obtain a light sentence, while poorer people and people of color get railroaded daily for much lesser crimes.
The solution to this problem is not to try to somehow get longer sentences for rich white men. It’s to push for a less punitive system overall. Excessive sentences do nothing to deter crime or rehabilitate criminals, but they do destroy families and communities.
If you’re mad and want to do something, here are some groups you can support:

The Brennan Center for Justice brennancenter.org

The Sentencing Project
sentencingproject.org
If you want to to offer more direct help to people in need, consider The Bail Project:

bailproject.org

A lot of people spend months and years in jail, just awaiting trial, because they can’t make bail. Take that anger about Manafort and turn it into good for them.
Length of sentences matters less in deterring crime than swiftness and certainty of punishment. White collar criminals don’t do what they do because they think they’ll “only” get 5 years — 5 years is a lot! — but because they think they won’t get caught.
Our idea of what constitutes “just” punishment is distorted by the ridiculously long sentences people get for other crimes. Shorten those to reasonable amounts — many low level crimes shouldn’t even result in prison time! — and Manafort’s sentence will start to look more just.
That feels less satisfying than “lock him up!” but that’s the problem. In a sane country, 47 months would be an eye-popping sentence. But that’s one we dole out for petty crimes here. That’s bonkers. We need a society where 47 months is a “holy shit, that’s long” is the standard.
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