Much of the nation waited with bated breath on the eminent sentencing of Paul Manafort, the once powerful operator of a foreign representation firm and ally of an American president.
According to the pundits clogging cable news channels, Mr. Manafort faced a daunting prison sentence of nearly a quarter of a century.
And then a federal judge lifted his gavel and pronounced he was giving him four years, and the reign of money, power, and social position became clearer to see. He had, the judge said, lived a relatively blameless life, so the sentence lightened and lifted from his shoulders.
As a man in prison, far be it from me to recommend harsh or heavy prison sentences. That’s not my bag. But we are clearly in the unholy grip of the greatest imprisonment fever the world has ever seen.
We’re in the midst of mass incarceration, and those who come from the other side of the tracks, they find very little possibility of felicitious judges, light sentences, or whispers of mercy.
Paul Manafort, after all, is one of the guys, one of the big boys, wealthy, tanned, and entitled by birth to breaks that the poor can’t even dream of. That’s just the way it is.
From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.
These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.