While the above headline may seem incendiary, it is important not to draw false equivalencies because all criminal cases are not equal. For example, in this specific story, two women—one Black, one white—were convicted of the exact same crime. However, the two cases are not the same. One is worse than the other.
According to the Plain Dealer, On August 2, former Chagrin Falls, Ohio Village Clerk Debbie Bosworth pleaded no contest to 22 counts of theft in office, tampering with records and money laundering after auditors discovered she had embezzled more than $238,000 over the span of 20 years. The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office rejected the 53-year-old Bosworth’s plea and asked a judge to sentence her to prison, even though she wrote a check for $100,000 to repay part of her debt when her scheme was uncovered.
But Bosworth is white, as is Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Hollie Gallagher. And in the history of America, there isn’t one documented case of a “Hollie” sending a “Debbie” to prison (yes, we actually checked). So, Gallagher, citing the fact that Bosworth paid back some of the money she stole, sentenced her fellow white woman to two years probation, much to the chagrin of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley, who issued a statement saying he found the sentence “to be unacceptable in that he believes public employees who steal from taxpayers should go to prison.”