So Paul Manafort was convicted of assorted fraud and sentenced to 47 months in prison the other day, and my newsfeed filled up with tweets and retweets like this:
Paul Manafort was just sentenced to less than 4 YEARS for committing multiple felonies, including tax and bank fraud
Crystal Mason is serving FIVE YEARS for trying to vote in the 2016 election. (She didn’t realize she was ineligible due to a prior conviction.)
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) March 8, 2019
#Manafort: 47 months for a lifelong carnival of criminality.
Petraeus: 0 days for trading the country’s highest secrets for a more favorable biography.
Manning: 35 YEARS for revealing evidence of actual war crimes to the press.
Your sentence derives from your proximity to power.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) March 8, 2019
Manafort committed fraud—got 47 months.
A man named Fate Vincent Winslow sold $20 of weed to a stranger—got life. https://t.co/fDL7mzFZVp
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) March 8, 2019
The general sentiment, at least at first, was that Manafort got off easy, not that these other people got over-sentenced. And a lot of these tweeters are supposedly for criminal justice reform or other checks on power — that Daily Beast article, for instance, doesn’t portray Fate Vincent Winslow’s life sentence as appropriate.
It took hours for some criminal-justice reformers to point out to their peers that wishing injustice on your political enemies is a bad look for them, even if it is a Trump minion this time.