Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, was sentenced on March 7th for committing a series of financial crimes, such as defrauding banks and the government and failing to pay taxes on millions of dollars of income earned from Ukraine and political consulting. The prosecutors in the case and sentencing guidelines recommended a sentence of 19 to 25 years in prison. However, the judge presiding over the case handed down a sentence of only 47 months. Manafort’s prison sentence has drawn a lot of backlash amongst individuals who claim that his punishment did not fit his crimes. The “light” sentence in the first of two cases against Manafort highlights a serious of issues inherent in the criminal justice system. The second sentencing hearing will take place in Washington, DC later in March.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.
- Writing: Why did Paul Manafort’s sentence draw a lot of backlash from legal experts, law makers, and the public?
- Debate: Paul Manafort’s sentence was too lenient.
- Poll: Do you believe that Paul Manafort will serve his entire sentence?
- Short Answer: What is the purpose of sentencing guidelines?
Current Events Quiz
1.The federal sentencing guidelines went into effect in ______.
2. Which of the following court cases found the limits placed on judges by sentencing guidelines to be unconstitutional?
a. United Stats v. Booker
b. Miranda v. Arizona
c. Roe v. Wade
d. Gideon v. Wainwright
3. According to sentencing guidelines, the minimum prison sentence that Paul Manafort could have received in the court case presided over by Judge T.S. Ellis was ______ years.
- Aside from sentencing guidelines, judicial discretion also plays a role in federal sentencing. (T/F)
- Judges are supposed to take into consideration criminal history, severity of the crime, the health of the defendant, and other factors when considering sentences. (T/F)
- There is no racial disparity in sentencing. (T/F)
Featured Image: Alexandria Sheriff’s Office