John Legend opposes actress' lockup | News Coverage from USA

John Legend opposes actress’ lockup

Erin Jensen

USA TODAY

Published 11:37 AM EDT Sep 16, 2019

John Legend disagrees with the sentence fellow celebrity Felicity Huffman received Friday from being a part of the college admissions scandal. 

In a Boston courtroom, the “Desperate Housewives” alum was sentenced to 14 days in prison, a $30,000 fine, supervised release for one year and 250 hours of community service for paying $15,000 to have someone correct answers on the SAT exam of her and William H. Macy’s oldest daughter, Sophia.

“I get why everyone gets mad when rich person X gets a short sentence and poor person of color Y gets a long one,” read a Saturday tweet from Legend, founder of FreeAmerica, “a campaign to transform America’s criminal justice system,” according to its website. “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 shared in another post. “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.”

Felicity Huffman sentenced: 2 weeks in prison, $30,000 fine for college admissions scandal

Though he did not address Huffman by name, he did reference her 2-week sentencing, describing it as ultimately meaningless.  

“And no one in our nation will benefit from the 14 days an actress will serve for cheating in college admissions,” he wrote. “We don’t need to lock people up for any of this stuff.”

Legend explained that he preferred other alternatives to prison when a Twitter user opposed his view. “Yeah let’s not have any consequences to crime… that’ll work well,” the critic remarked. 

“When you think no prison = no consequences,” Legend replied. “There are other ways to hold people accountable than the state paying 10s of thousands a year to hold them in a secure facility”

Read Felicity Huffman’s full, emotional statement about her 14-day prison sentence

That’s not the only Twitter opponent Legend has had to face of late. The artist’s Sept. 8, appearance on MSNBC’s final installment of Lester Holt’s “Justice For All” series, a report about the criminal justice system, ruffled the feathers of President Donald Trump. The nation’s leader complained that he and his political party were not receiving the appropriate credit and dragged the “boring musician” and his “filthy mouthed wife” Chrissy Teigen, who was not mentioned in the report. 

The judge in Huffman’s case, U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani, addressed the actress’ sentencing in court. 

“I don’t think anyone wants to go to prison,” Talwani said. “I do think this is the right thing here. I think without this sentence you would be looking at a future with a community around you asking how you got away with this.”

Meghan McCain defends Chrissy Teigen after President Trump targets Teigen, John Legend

Friday, Huffman said she was ready to “accept the court’s decision today without reservation.”

“I broke the law. I have admitted that and I pleaded guilty to this crime. There are no excuses or justifications for my actions. Period,” she said.  

“I would like to apologize again to my daughter, my husband, my family and the educational community for my actions,” she added. “And I especially want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices supporting their children.” 

Contributing: Joey Garrison, Hannah Yasharoff and Anika Reed

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