John Legend Responds to Felicity Huffman’s Prison Sentence: ‘No One in Our Nation Will Benefit’
On Friday (September 13), Felicity Huffman was sentenced for her involvement in one of the largest college admission scandals the country has ever seen. The actress will serve 14 days in prison, and will also be required to pay a $30,000 fine, complete 250 hours of community service and serve one year of probation for paying $15,000 to get her daughter's SAT scores altered so she could attend an elite university.
On Saturday (September 14), John Legend took to Twitter to let the world know how he felt about her sentencing. While critics are up in arms that Huffman will serve such a short jail sentence when people of color tend to get harsher sentences for the same crimes, the singer doesn't think she should serve any time at all.
"I get why everyone gets mad when rich person X gets a short sentence and poor person of color Y gets a long one," he wrote. "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," he added. "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."
The Voice coach then compared Huffman's case to Tanya McDowell, a homeless/unemployed African American mother who served five years for using the wrong address so her child could go to school. "It's insane we locked a woman up for 5 years for sending her kid to the wrong school district," he said. "Literally everyone involved in that decision should be ashamed of themselves"
"It's unconscionable that we locked a woman up for voting when, unbeknownst to her, she was ineligible," he continued. "Her sentence shouldn't be fewer years. It should be ZERO."
His bottom line? None of these people should have gotten jail time, including Huffman. He doesn't think it's beneficial to anyone. "And no one in our nation will benefit from the 14 days an actress will serve for cheating in college admissions," he concluded his Twitter thread. "We don't need to lock people up for any of this stuff."
Legend decided to make one more point when a Twitter user thought he was trying to say criminal shouldn't be punished. "When you think no prison = no consequences. There are other ways to hold people accountable than the state paying 10s of thousands a year to hold them in a secure facility," he explained.
The singer has recently become more outspoken about criminal justice reform, recently being featured in a MSNBC piece that fueled a Twitter war between himself, his wife Chrissy Teigen, and president Trump. Check out his thoughts on the Huffman case below.