Manafort Deserves More Time

Ryan Ash, Staff Writer

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Paul Manafort has been sentenced to 47 months in prison. Judge T.S. Ellis III handed down the decision last Friday at his courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia.

Last August, Manafort was found guilty of eight counts, including tax evasion, bank fraud and failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. More specifically, Manafort didn’t pay taxes on more than $30 million in Ukrainian lobbying money, and once the president of Ukraine was deposed and that money stopped flowing, he lied to banks to get loans to continue his lifestyle.

Prosecutors had recommended that Manafort be sentenced to 19-24 years, so naturally the world was surprised when Judge Ellis gave him only 47 months. Why would judge Ellis dispense such a short sentence, a sentence so short that it even surprised Manafort’s attorneys?

The answer is obvious. The United States justice system is broken.

This has nothing to do with Trump. Nothing to do with the possibility that Manafort either aided in or knew about collusion with Russia in the 2016 Presidential election. It has to do with crimes that Manafort has clearly committed and the need for a just punishment for those crimes.

Why is it that a man who earned millions from his white collar exploits only gets four years when a drug addict who only gleaned self-destruction from their crimes can get ten plus years?

For what Manafort did, the punishment simply does not fit the crime. Especially since it seems likely that Trump will pardon Manafort. A presidential pardon shouldn’t be reserved for bailing out the commander in chief’s close, powerful friends. If anything, it should be used to correct the injustices our courts produce.

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Manafort Deserves More Time