Felicity Huffman Receives 14-Day Prison Sentence

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Tiffany Zhu, Staff Writer

On Friday, Sept. 13, actress Felicity Huffman arrived with her husband, fellow actor William H. Macy, at a Boston courthouse to receive her sentence. In May, Huffman pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to inflate her daughter’s SAT score. 

In a plea for no jail time, Huffman apologized to those she hurt by giving her daughter an unfair advantage. Huffman justified her actions by saying that she didn’t want her daughter’s inability to do math to ruin her chances of getting into theater or film school. 

Huffman elaborated further, explaining that her fear of being a “bad mother” led her to believe that participating in Rick Singer’s scheme was the right thing to do. In response, Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen said, “With all due respect to the defendant, welcome to parenthood. What parenthood does not do is it does not make you a felon; it does not make you cheat. Most parents have the moral compass to not step over the line. The defendant did not.”  

Initially Rosen and other prosecutors argued for a four month sentence. However, upon learning Huffman paid $15,000, they reduced their recommendation to one month. Huffman’s attorney, Martin Murphy, argued for 12 months of probation and 250 hours of community service for Huffman. According to Murphy, “It can’t be the case that Ms. Huffman should be treated more harshly because of her financial circumstances. Unlike what the government says, that is not fair.”

He justified this recommendation by stating that his client understood what she did was wrong.  

U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani did not grant this request. “I don’t think anyone wants to go to prison,” Talwani said. “I do think this is the right thing here. I think without this sentence you would be looking at a future with a community around you asking how you got away with this.” 

However, Talwani did issue a lighter sentence. Talwani sentenced Huffman to 14 days in incarceration, a $30,000 fine, and 250 hours of community service. When she gets released from prison on Nov. 8, she will start her year of probation. 

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