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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