Some black commentators got up in arms over the disparity in sentencing of two women. Their names don’t matter but the details do. One was a white woman from Chagrin Falls who was charged with embezzling $200,000 over a number of years from her job in the utilities department. She plead guilty and repaid all of the money out of her PERS (state retirement) account. She was given probation.
The other woman, who was Black, worked for a high school where she embezzled $40,000. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison. This is what got some black commentators up in arms. But they evidently didn’t know the whole story.
The Black woman, when she knew the jig was about to be up, drained her PERS account and transferred the title of her home to her daughter. Then at court she stated that she was indigent. What about the money she took out of her retirement account? What did she do with it? And she obviously thought it was a clever move to transfer her house to her daughter, as if no one would be the wiser.
One factor the court looks at when determining a sentence is the degree of remorse exhibited by the accused. The white woman showed such remorse when she paid back every penny of the money she stole, while the black woman wanted to beat the system by hiding her assets and transferring her house to her daughter. In court her lawyer asked the judge to sentence her to probation so that she could get a job and begin repaying the money she stole. Again, what about the money she took out of her PERS account?
While I fully realize our criminal justice system is highly flawed and rigged to favor white defendants over Blacks but that was not the case in the disparity in the sentencing of these two women. One demonstrated remorse while the other attempted to be clever. Judges don’t like that.