Back in the 1960s, there was a local farmer that got caught up in a check-kiting scheme. Before it was all over he had been charged with multiple felonies, several bank officials had their careers ruined, several banks either failed or came close and the farmer that started it all, to my knowledge never spent a day in jail.
That the farmer had got off scot-free the same newspaper published a below the centerfold story about a poor white woman who had written an insufficient check for a few dollars and had been sentenced to a lengthy jail term.
The big news item yesterday was the sentencing of Paul Manafort for eight felonies, mostly involving fraud and tax evasion. The total dollar amount, $55 million in bank fraud and $6 million in tax fraud. Manafort showed no contrition, admitted no guilt, nor uttered any remorse. He simply complained or whined to the judge about how his life had been disrupted and how he had been shamed. Blindered justice turned it’s blindered eye away from the recommended sentencing guidelines calling for twenty years, or so, behind bars and settled for 47 months less time served.
In contrast, at the same time, Manafort was getting a slap on the wrist, being careful to not strike his high dollar Swiss-made Patek Philippe wristwatch, a guy in New York was offered a sentence of 36 to 72 years for stealing $100 in quarters from a laundromat.
These stories will forever be told and repeated until the day when the most common person is provided with the same army of high-dollar attorney afforded by the wealthy. Until the freedom of the lowest among us is seen as being just as worthy as the richest.
And the real potential injustice has yet to be seen. That dude that who stole the quarters is never going to receive a letter of pardon from Donald Trump. But in Trump’s own words, a pardon for Manafort is still on the table.