Felicity Huffman’s Sentencing Leads To A Nationwide Discussion About Wealth And Fairness

Following the sentencing of Huffman, there was vast social media backlash from those that thought it was too lenient.

Felicity Huffman poses on the red carpet.
Tibrina Hobson / Getty Images

Following the sentencing of Huffman, there was vast social media backlash from those that thought it was too lenient.

Are celebrities more likely to get away with breaking the rules simply because of their wealth and fame? Do those with less money and social status get the short end of the stick, often receiving harsher sentences than those with money and fame who committed crimes of a similar magnitude? These are the questions that are at the center of a nationwide hot topic discussion, in response to the sentence Felicity Huffman recently received for her role in the college admissions scandal. The scandal, dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues,” is — at its foundation — about wealthy and influential parents using their money and social status to get around the rules, according to The New York Times.

There is no denying the fact that Huffman broke the law when she paid the alleged mastermind of the cheating scheme, Rick Singer, $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT exam corrected to score higher on the test. Huffman pleaded guilty to this crime and has fully accepted responsibility for her actions, admitting that she knew what she was doing was wrong and allowed her daughter to receive an unfair advantage.

The question isn’t really about whether or not Huffman broke the law, as that has already been determined. People appear to be most conflicted about whether or not her sentencing was actually fair. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Huffman will spend 14 days in prison for her crime. She will be expected to do community service, pay a $30,000 fine, and have a year of probation.

“I realize now with my mothering that love and truth must go hand in hand. And that my love coming at the expense of truth is not real love,” Huffman tearfully told the judge in court.

David Singleton, the executive director of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center, recently represented a black mother named Kelley Williams-Bolar, who used a false address to allow her son to attend school in a different school district, one that she thought would be better for him. Initially, Williams-Bolar was sentenced to five years in prison for her actions. The sentence caused an outrage, as many believed the punishment was far too harsh for the crime committed. It was later changed to 10 days in prison, three years of probation, and community service. Still, Singleton believes the truth remains that there are disparities in the justice system — on a racial and socio-economic level.

“When you are rich — and particularly if you’re rich and white in this country — there’s a different justice system. Sending Felicity Huffman to jail is not going to solve that problem,” he said.