When Paul Manafort appeared before Judge T.S. Ellis last week, he was facing up to 24 years in prison, so the 47 months he actually got seemed like a slap on the wrist.

Turns out it was.

A recent analysis by USA Today showed that Manafort appeared to get kid-glove treatment, despite a life of criminality and moral turpitude that made Donald Trump look like Charles Kushner.

USA Today:

The analysis found that of the nearly 67,000 defendants sentenced in federal courts in the 2017 fiscal year, 308 whose guideline calculations called for them to serve at least 15 years in prison wound up receiving less than five years. The majority of these defendants received this kind of break in sentencing because the government asked for it and because they cooperated with prosecutors.

Manafort, whom prosecutors did not believe substantially cooperated, received a sentence below that. In fact, of those 308 cases, there's was one fraud case in which the sentence was comparable to Manafort's. It involved a defendant in New York who faced a recommended minimum of 188 months and was sentenced to 30 months.

So, yeah, guess there really is a two-tiered justice system. And Manafort has somehow found himself on the top tier, despite a conspicuously blameworthy life.


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