TigerHawk tells us that by receiving only a 3 year sentence Wesley Snipes got off easy:
And for my fellow libertarian conservatives who are offended, I offer the friendly reminder that Pete Rose served five months in federal prison for defaulting on approximately 2% of the taxes and penalties owed by Wesley Snipes.
Considering that federal sentencing guidelines — which law-and-order conservatives loudly champion as the remedy for "soft judges" — for other white collar offenses have massively increased jail time for purely monetary crimes (many of which have much more ambiguous evidentiary and legal standards than rank tax evasion), three years seems incredibly light.
TH concedes that white-collar sentencing has “gone completely overboard” but says that by recent standards Snipes would have gotten ten years if he were some CEO.
Actually, anyone convicted of the same thing as Snipes would have gotten 36 months or less. Three years – that is, a maximum sentence of 1 year for each misdemeanor conviction, then stacked or run consecutively – is the most that Snipes or anyone else similarly situated could have received.
The maximum sentence was a likely result here, because once the ‘appropriate’ punishment for the acquitted conduct was factored in, Snipes was theoretically way over the guidelines for the maximum.
But it’s hard to see where one can argue that the max and getting off easy – for misdemeanors again mind you – are even close to the same logical ballpark.
As for the analogy to Pete Rose’s situation, he probably received some sort of downward departure for acceptance of responsibility and pleading guilty. And his sentences – yes, plural – all ran concurrently. But let’s ignore that.
Is the 2% figure supposed to mean that Snipes should have gotten a sentence 50 times longer than Rose? 250 months? Almost 21 years? If we start following that logic, we’ll lead the world in incarceration rates.
UPDATE. I should have read the comments before publishing. Here’s part of one:
Snipes is a sh*tty actor and criminal. He deserves the long arm of the law.
Begs the question: Should Al Pacino get a lower sentence than Steven Seagal if they were both caught cheating for roughly the same amount of taxes? And do we count total number of Oscar nominations, or just wins when it comes to lesser punishment?