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By Danny Cevallo's
That's what some critics say about Paul Manafort's mild 47-month sentence, Judge TS Ellis on Thursday in the US District Court for Virginia in the US District Court of Virginia. 19659009] The US Probation Department calculated Manafort's penal area after federal sentences to be 235-293 months or 19.6-2.4.4 years. The prosecutor agreed and recommended the same "directive".
However, Ellis disagreed and condemned a relatively light sentence: 188 months lower than the lower end of the guidelines.
White privilege? Could be. However, Manafort's race did not have the same measurable effect on its punishment as other factors: wealth, age and health.
The Federal Constitutional Directive does not allow a judge to consider race as a factor. However, they allow the judge to consider age and health in certain circumstances.
Age and health are usually not relevant to determining whether a lower penalty is warranted. However, if a defendant is uniquely physically disabled or of advanced age, a judge has the power to issue an appropriate sentence.
At the age of 69, Manafort has a remaining life expectancy of 14.98 years of social security administration. Studies also show that each year in prison, an increase in the likelihood of death by 15.6 percent or a two-year decline in life expectancy for each year spent in prison.
Manafort appeared wisely on his conviction in a wheelchair. Weaknesses on full ad. (His lawyers have said he faces "significant" and worsening health problems.) It's almost a trope of mob films, but judging from a defendant's poor health on conviction, a judge might unconsciously believe that The Bureau of Prison's is not the safest place for a sick or elderly offender.
Every five-year sentence is life-long, according to Manafort. Ellis may also have considered that the rate of recidivism over 60 is only 16 percent. (On the contrary, Manafort just committed a few months ago for new crimes, which is why he drops below 16 percent.)
The guidelines do not allow a judge to consider wealth as a mitigating factor, but directly as wealth and influence observable the conviction.
Wealth correlates with education correlates with statistics. About one third of the federal offenders did not finish high school. Most (about 65 percent) have only a university degree. But only about eight percent are academics like Manafort.
Education also correlates with recurrence or recovery rates. This is an important factor in the conviction. Offenders with less than a university degree have the highest recidivism rates (60.4 percent), followed by high school graduates (50.7 percent) and university graduates (39.3 percent). College graduates like Manafort are by far the least likely to drop out again (19.1 percent).
Wealth also allows a more robust defense. Defendants with wealth can often compose more impressive credentials for the judge because they held positions of influence. Greater prosperity also means more opportunities for charitable donations that can impress a judge.
Ellis even noted that Manafort had lived an "otherwise guiltless" life. Wealthy defendants have the ability to shape their CV with good works, as poor defendants often can not. Although wealth is not an acceptable consideration, it affects many other factors that have an indirect but measurable impact on the final sentence.
There are undoubtedly racial differences in federal punishment. Sets of black offenders are generally longer than white offenders. For example, from 2012 to 2016 penalties for black male offenders were up to 19 percent longer than for white male offenders, according to the US Sentencing Commission. In Manafort's case, there is no indication that the judge had consciously perceived the offender's race as a mild punishment.
Of course, economic crimes have long been criticized for containing fewer penalties than street crimes. Manafort's crimes in the eastern district of Virginia had no minimum sentence. In addition, the average total penalty for fraud is 35 months.
In the jurisdiction where Manafort was convicted, the average fraud is slightly above average: 37 months. Manafort's case was more annoying than the average fraud case, partly due to the massive dollar amounts, but overall, fraud is being punished less severely than certain violent or drug-related offenses and far below the Manafort guidelines for conviction guidelines.
By contrast, many "street" offenses have compulsory minimum fines, especially if they are a firearm or a certain amount of drugs. Economic crimes are not shootouts or methamphetamines, but they are often more harmful to the victim than alcohol abuse.
Manafort's unusually low penalty was probably partly influenced by his age, health, education and wealth
White privilege? More likely privilege of the "White Collar (Crime)".