Shortly before she sentenced Felicity Huffman this month to two weeks in prison for her role in the college admissions scandal, a judge settled a lingering legal dispute.
Prison sentences for parents who admitted to taking part in the scheme would not be based on how much money they paid to take part in the scam, U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani ruled.
The ruling didn’t impact Huffman because the $15,000 she paid to rig her daughter’s college entrance exams was far less than what others shelled out. But starting this week, Talwani will sentence 10 more parents, and her decision dealt a blow to prosecutors, who tried to convince her that higher payments should mean longer sentences.
The parents and their attorneys, meanwhile, have been left with mixed signals from the judge. On the one hand, her ruling means parents could receive significantly lower prison sentences or avoid prison altogether. On the other, Talwani’s decision that Huffman should spend some time incarcerated is a sign she’ll come down as hard or harder on other parents, experts said.
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