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Reader Questions Leniency To Manafort

To The Reader’s Forum:

Much concern has been expressed by the decision reached by Virginia Judge T.S. Ellis regarding Paul Manafort’s sentence on charges of bank fraud, filing false tax returns, hiding tens of millions of dollars in income and failure to report foreign assets.

The United States Sentencing Commission recommends guidelines for sentencing to judges. In Paul Manafort’s case, they recommended from 19.5 to 24 years of jail time. Judge Ellis decided to sentence Manafort to 47 months minus time already served. Even though Judge Ellis does have the right to make that decision, one has to question why such a decision was reached knowing all of the crimes Manaford committed. Even Judge Ellis recognized that Mr. Manafort has never expressed remorse for his actions.

Judge Ellis reported that Paul Manafort had “lived an otherwise blameless life.” Simply an untruth! If you or I had committed those crimes, most certainly, we would have received the high end of the sentence recommendation.

In many courthouses throughout the U.S., Lady Justice has a prominent place (check the top of Warren County’s courthouse). She is most commonly portrayed as a blindfolded woman carrying a sword and a set of scales symbolizing the fair and equal administration of the law without corruption, greed, prejudice or favor. Perhaps Lady Justice should remove her blindfold while she sheds tears over the Manafort case. It will be interesting to see what the next judge decides.

Roger Gilbert,

Lakewood

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