Fed Prosecutors are Punishing Lori Loughlin for Defending Herself
Article from Reason by Scott Shackford.
Department of Justice attorneys turned the screws on actor Lori Loughlin and 10 other parents this week by bringing new charges against them for attempting to use their wealth to buy their kids spots at selective colleges.
The new charges of conspiracy to commit bribery and money laundering, filed Tuesday, came just a day after four other parents caught up in the “Varsity Blues” scandal accepted plea deals in Boston. This is not a coincidence. As USA Today‘s reporting makes abundantly clear, the parents who pleaded guilty did so because prosecutors had threatened them with these additional charges. Loughlin and the other parents face harsher criminal punishment now entirely because they are insisting on their innocence:
Prosecutors are only now insisting on holding the defendants “fully accountable” because these parents are insisting on exercising their constitutional right to a fair trial. Loughlin and the other defendants would not have received these additional charges if they’d accepted plea deals. One of the parents told the judge Monday that the Justice Department told them it would not seek any further punishment if the parent accepted the deal.
This behavior by federal prosecutors is both common and a frustrating subversion of the criminal justice process. Despite our constitutional right to a trial, a full 97 percent of all criminal cases are resolved with plea deals, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).
Read the entire article at Reason.
Image Credit: By St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons