Michael Cohen, former personal attorney, and fixer for Donald Trump was sentenced to three years in prison after admitting guilt in several felonies including tax evasion, fraud, and lying to Congress. The sentencing range for his offenses on paper was from 51 to 63 months. I’m all in favor of Cohen going to jail despite having flipped on Donald Trump (who should get an even longer sentence). Yet, as more and more people are getting sentenced for crimes that in some cases are ultimately treason and crimes against the nation. I can’t help but notice the discrepancy in sentencing vs. black women who arguably shouldn’t have gone to jail at all.
Cyntoia Brown, a 30-year old black woman, is serving a sentence of a minimum of 51 years before becoming eligible for parole. In 2004, when she was a 16-year-old sex trafficking victim forced into prostitution. She shot and killed 43-year-old Johnny Allen, a Nashville real estate agent who she claimed was reaching for a gun. The case went as far as the Tennessee Supreme Court which affirmed she must serve 51 years before becoming eligible for parole. The Tennessee Governor is currently considering her case for clemency.
Marissa Alexander served almost six years after firing a warning shot at her husband, Rico Gray who had threatened to kill her. Gray had previously assaulted Alexander and threatened her life on separate occasions including 9 days after giving birth to her daughter. Marissa claimed to be “standing her ground” which was the defense successfully used by George Zimmerman. Alexander was prosecuted by Jacksonville State Attorney Angela Corey who failed to convict Zimmerman but had no such problem convicting a black woman. When an appeals court said faulty jury instructions had been given in the case. Corey threatened to charge Alexander with three felonies and ultimately agreed to a plea deal where Alexander admitted guild in order to be released based on her time served.
Crystal Mason voted in the 2016 election after her mother urger her to do her civic duty. An ex-felon, Crystal said she didn’t know her rights had not been reinstated and was sentenced to 5 years. The mother of three is serving her time in a Federal prison in Ft. Worth, TX.
While watching the various sentences handed down thus far related to the Robert Mueller Special Counsel and the Southern District of New York. One can’t help but notice how light the sentences are? Michael Flynn lied to the FBI, was an unregistered agent for Turkey, and infamously shouted, “Lock Her Up!” about Hillary Clinton, and will likely get zero jail time. Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan got 30 days after refusing to cooperate with prosecutors. AMI President David Pecker will not be prosecuted after participating in the Trump/Cohen felonies. George Papadopoulos just served twelve days of a two-week sentence after lying to the FBI and whined like a baby that he had to go to jail at all. His sentence and location in Oxford, Wisconsin was akin to the average stay in summer camp.
So a few people are going to jail for relatively short terms (save Paul Manafort who’s totally screwed). But had they been black women, I suspect their sentences would be much different. One last example of a black woman who didn’t fare well when confronted with the criminal justice system. Sandra Bland… she’s dead.