Rebecca J. Kavanagh @DrRJKavanagh @theappeal Media Relations Director, NYC Public Defender, Writer, @nyulaw, @sydneylawschool, @sydney_uni. Sydney ✈️ NYC. Views my own. Sep. 20, 2019 1 min read

Last night in Manhattan arraignments, an elderly man was sentenced to 5 days jail on Rikers Island.

His crime? Attempting to steal a pack of batteries from Home Depot.

Meanwhile Felicity Huffman will serve 2 weeks on felony fraud and conspiracy charges, because, well, justice.

Let me be clear here: I don't think either person should be sentenced to any jail or prison time.

A longer prison term for Ms. Huffman ultimately means longer jail sentences for poor Black and Brown people charged with attempting to steal batteries from Home Depot.

93% of the people arraigned in Manhattan criminal court are of color. A similar percentage are indigent. Of the people I represent, 87% cannot afford cash bail of $500.

Racial disparities in sentencing are one part of a criminal legal system designed to be racist. Demands for punitive sentences will always function to oppress poor Black and Brown people.

You can follow @DrRJKavanagh.


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