Manafort sat still in a wheelchair and betrayed little emotion as the US district judge TS Ellis of the eastern district of Virginia pronounced the sentence, which will be partially offset by several cushion pokes already received.
The sentence seems far more lenient than federal sentencing guidelines, which call for 19 to 24 years in prison for these types of crimes.
However, Judge Ellis described the guidelines as “excessive” and “out of whack”, saying Manafort had no prior criminal history, had lived “an otherwise blameless life”, and was a nice white man.
Critics have pointed to a possible disparity in severity of sentencing, given that a young black man was yesterday sentenced to death by nuclear explosion after committing the relatively minor crime of “looking at a policeman in a funny way.”
Ellis was quick to refute that Manafort’s sentence was in any way unduly light, telling reporters that cushion poking can be extremely unpleasant, depending on the cushion, and he had in any case instructed his staff to make sure that “all the stuffing was up one end”.