Federal Judge T.S. Ellis was highly criticized online for dramatically departing from sentencing guidelines to show leniency for former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.
Sentencing guidelines called for Manafort to spend 19.5 to 24 years in federal prison. But Judge Ellis only sentenced Manafort to 47 months — less than four years.
People were outraged, here is a sampling:
This is a TERRIBLE AND HORRIBLE sentencing decision. It now sends the message that you can be convicted of 8 felonies, plead guilty to several other offenses in different jurisdictions, repeatedly lie to law enforcement, and only get 4 years. 🤬
— Katie Phang (@KatiePhang) March 8, 2019
Judge Ellis was negligent. No remorse for 8 felonies BEFORE charges THEN MORE felonies after! He worked for dictators. “Blameless life”? His sentencing is a slap in the face. #livingwhilewhite
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) March 8, 2019
People are sometimes sent to prison for longer than 47 months for non violent marijuana offenses.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) March 8, 2019
47 months for Manafort.
Watch whiteness work.
— Sam Parry (@samjparry) March 8, 2019
A below-guidelines sentence would’ve been perfectly fair but 47 months is a joke. Steal millions from US Government, violate bail, get convicted by jury, fake cooperate, lie to prosecutors, refuse to accept responsibility – and get an enormous break. That’s an unjust sentence.
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) March 8, 2019
Convicted of 8 Felonies
Commits additional crimes while under investigation
Lies to federal prosecutors
Expresses no remorse
Called an "otherwise blameless, good friend" by the Judge
Manafort gets sentenced to less than 4 very rich, very white, very male years: an American story
— feminist next door (@emrazz) March 8, 2019
At last count, there are 2,010 people in federal prison serving life sentences with no possibility for parole or virtual life sentences (50+ yrs) for non-violent drug offenses.
Manafort received 47 months on eight counts of bank + tax fraud.
America’s criminal injustice system.
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) March 8, 2019
Manafort’s 47-month sentence in ED Va is outrageously lenient. Judge Ellis has inexcusably perverted justice and the guidelines. His pretrial comments were a dead giveaway. The DC sentence next week had better be consecutive.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) March 8, 2019
Judge Ellis’s assessment that Manafort led an “otherwise blameless life” was proof that he’s unfit to serve on the federal bench. I’ve rarely been more disgusted by a judge’s transparently preferential treatment to a rich white guy who betrayed the law and the nation.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) March 8, 2019
Manafort only gets 47 months and it's time change weekend. Fuck me.
— Hal O' Be Thy Name (@Halbeerz) March 8, 2019
FYI in 2018, #JudgeEllis sentenced Frederick Turner, 37, to a mandatory minimum of 40 years in prison for dealing methamphetamine: "I chafe a bit at that, but I follow the law. If I thought it was blatantly immoral, I'd have to resign. It's wrong, but not immoral." #PaulManafort
— Laura Coates (@thelauracoates) March 8, 2019
Pretty clear Judge Ellis needs to be impeached. This guy should have no influence whatsoever in our justice system. https://t.co/LTmYqbgguY
— David Atkins (@DavidOAtkins) March 8, 2019
Paul Manafort’s lenient 4-year sentence — far below the recommended 20 years despite extensive felonies and post-conviction obstruction — is a reminder of the blatant inequities in our justice system that we all know about, because they reoccur every week in courts across America
— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) March 8, 2019
— Dario Navarro (@darionavarro111) March 8, 2019
There are several dozen people in federal prison doing life without for marihuana.
— Stanley Cohen (@StanleyCohenLaw) March 8, 2019
47 f***ing months – less than 20% of the sentencing recommendation. Manafort has NOT led an otherwise blameless life. @LawProfButler is right – justice is very different for wypipo.
— Marina Streznewski (@marinastrez) March 8, 2019
NOW: Paul Manafort has been sentenced to 47 months in prison in his Virginia case. BUT, with credit for time served (about nine months), it's really a sentence of about 38 months, or just over three years https://t.co/F1Tp9DAkq2
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) March 8, 2019
it's a good thing that Paul Manafort was only a rich white millionaire selling out his country and enabling despots and making life worse for millions of people, and not, say, a black man selling loose cigarettes on a street corner, because there are serious consequences for that
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) March 8, 2019
47 months is a very low sentence for Manafort, considering the sentencing guidelines range. I suspect Judge Jackson will run his sentence in her case consecutive to this sentence.
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) March 8, 2019
Jesus, did Judge Ellis also offer his nipple so Manafort could suckle himself back to health? https://t.co/c9iz3wAe5F
— The Rude Pundit (@rudepundit) March 8, 2019
This is outrageous. Manafort spent a career lobbying for arms for clients who burned children alive; he represented gangsters who broke democracies and whose thievery destroyed health systems. He literally created corruption as we know it in Washington. https://t.co/twvaSHyNWo
— Franklin Foer (@FranklinFoer) March 8, 2019
A shorter sentence than black woman in Texas who got 5 years for voting while on supervised release https://t.co/CsIHHDbvw7
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) March 8, 2019
47 months for Manafort. Federal guidelines say he should have gotten 5 times that. Lets go live now for commentary from some black guy doing 12 years for selling weed…
— Ghorn (@Ghorn83495788) March 8, 2019
The prosecutor in Paul Manafort's case recommended a 19 to 25 year prison sentence.
Judge Ellis just sentenced him to under 4 years.
Judges almost never sentence my clients to less prison time than prosecutors recommend.
Compassion is a quality shown only to some.
— Rebecca J. Kavanagh (@DrRJKavanagh) March 8, 2019
Paul Manafort shows that it doesn't matter if you're a criminal, Kids, as long as you're rich and white. https://t.co/9iagFEvU7K
— Laurie Crosswell (@lauriecrosswell) March 8, 2019
Paul Manafort, who was convicted of 8 felonies, just got less jail time (47 months or 3 years and 11 months) than people in New York State get for selling small amounts of weed (4 years for 25 grams)
— Roberto Ferdman (@robferdman) March 8, 2019
Our criminal justice system is a joke. Only benefiting the rich and the white.
…Paul Manafort got 47 months in prison for 8 counts of felony changes.
— Attie (@attiiee) March 8, 2019
For context on Manafort’s 47 months in prison, my client yesterday was offered 36-72 months in prison for stealing $100 worth of quarters from a residential laundry room.
— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) March 8, 2019
NEW: Judge sentenced handed Manafort "a sentence that bears no resemblance to the guidelines of 19.5-24 years"
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) March 8, 2019
— Hardball (@hardball) March 8, 2019