Open Your Mouth
"There are black people in pre-trial confinement that have spent more time in prison waiting for a trial than Manafort will spend for being convicted and sentenced." That's how activist Linda Sarsour responded to the news of Manafort's sentencing. Elizabeth Warren put it this way: "Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, commits bank and tax fraud and gets 47 months. A homeless man, Fate Winslow, helped sell $20 of pot and got life in prison. The words above the Supreme Court say 'Equal Justice Under Law' - when will we start acting like it?"
We can't wait for our criminal (in)justice system to start acting right. We have to do our part. That requires us to open our mouths about the need for criminal justice reform.
We are called to judge, but to always judge righteously. And one important righteous judgment we need right now is the Mueller investigation. President Donald Trump said this morning that those involved in Paul Manafort's case affirmed there was "no collusion" with Russia, according to NBC News
. "But that's not what the judge overseeing the case said. Before announcing Manafort's sentence Thursday, Judge T.S. Ellis reminded the court that the longtime political operative's crimes were not related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s chief mandate — Russian election interference and whether Trump campaign officials colluded with the Kremlin."
We must continue to pray for the Mueller investigation and that Donald Trump's cronies will be brought to justice. And we must pray that the American people will judge Trump's presidency to be a failure at the ballot box in 2020.
Defend the rights of the poor and needy
A rich white man getting off easy in our criminal justice system shouldn't surprise us. Special Counsel Robert Mueller recommended 19 to 24 years for Manafort's crimes. He got less than 4 years. It's clear that's Manafort's wealth and race played a factor.
According to the Sentencing Project
, "Sentencing policies, implicit racial bias, and socioeconomic inequity contribute to racial disparities at every level of the criminal justice system. Today, people of color make up 37% of the U.S. population but 67% of the prison population. Overall, African Americans are more likely than white Americans to be arrested; once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, they are more likely to face stiff sentences. Black men are six times as likely to be incarcerated as white men and Hispanic men are more than twice as likely to be incarcerated as non-Hispanic white men."