College Admissions Judge Criticizes Wealthy Elite

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As more sentences are handed down in the nationwide college admissions scam, U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani in Boston is embracing the case’s societal significance, openly addressing the public outrage that surrounds it and offering a blunt critique of the wealthy elite who used cash to cheat an admissions system some say already is stacked to their advantage, reports USA Today. Are parents “doing this for their children or their own status?” Talwani asked in one case. “I find that’s at issue in all of these cases. It’s not basic care-taking for your child. It’s not getting your child food or clothing. It’s not even getting your child an education. It’s getting your child into a college that you call ‘exclusive.’ ”

Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, said the case and Talwani’s remarks “reflect what people are thinking in the broader society” — and their concerns. “People are thinking about it,” he said. “It’s raising lots of questions for people.” Six more parents who’ve pleaded guilty are set to be sentenced by Talwani this month, beginning Tuesday with the first couple, Gregory and Marcia Abbott. The Abbotts, who reside in New York and Aspen, Co., paid a total of $125,000 to have their daughter’s college entrance exams answers fixed to get her into Duke University, her mother’s alma mater. Daniel Medwed, professor of law and criminal justice at Northeastern University School of Law, said Talwani could be “sending a broader message to the community about privilege and how people shouldn’t capitalize on their privilege in ways that are illegal and immoral.”

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