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News - 2022

Feb. 2022

Law360 quotes Howard Cooper on ‘Varsity Blues' sentencing disparity

In a Law360 article comparing the longer sentences imposed on the “Varsity Blues” defendants convicted at trial to those that reached plea agreements, Howard M. Cooper indicates that the harsher penalties could have a chilling effect on a defendant who maintains his innocence to go to trial.

The two college admissions defendants convicted at trial received the longest prison sentences, one for 15 months and the other for 12 months.  Most other ‘Varsity Blues’ defendants reached plea agreements and received substantially lesser sentences.

The longer sentences, Mr. Cooper told the publication, seem “to reflect a penalty for not pleading out early as all the other defendants did.  Whether that’s true or not, that will be the public perception.  And it’s intimidating to others who maintain their innocence.”

A Founding Partner of Todd & Weld, Mr. Cooper has extensive trial court experience representing clients in complex civil disputes and criminal defense matters.