Snoop Dogg, like so many others, is in activist mode following the police killing of 46-year-old George Floyd last month. With the spotlight firmly on police brutality and racial injustice, the West Coast gangsta rap vet is using his massive platform to highlight the Florida court system.
On Monday (June 8), the inimitable Doggfather shared a meme that read, “Same crime, same courtroom, same judge, same day, different results.”
Below the text were two photos — one of a 19-year-old white man named Chase Legleitner and another of a 21-year-old black man named Lamar Lloyd. Despite having committed an identical crime, Legleitner received two years in county jail while Lloyd received 26 years.
Snoop wrote in the caption, “Justice for y’all. Thought it was justice for all.” He included an emoji of a person throwing their hands in the air alongside the American flag emoji.
But according to Snopes, there were some additional details that weren’t reflected in the meme. The claim reads, “Florida 19th Judicial Circuit judge Sherwood ‘Chip’ Bauer gave a black man 26 years in prison and a white man two years’ time served, for the same crime, in the same circumstances.”
The Snopes article refutes the notion, stating, “The race of the defendant was not the only relevant difference between the two cases.”
The Legleitner and Lloyd cases were first brought to light in 2016 by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune as part of a series titled “Bias on the Bench,” which focused on racial disparities in sentencing by Florida judges. Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit Court passionately disputed many of the claims made against Bauer in a lengthy rebuttal.
Ultimately, it was Bauer’s decision. In July 2010, he sentenced Lloyd to 13 years in state prison on each of two counts, yielding a sentence of 26 years while in June 2011, Bauer invoked a “mitigated departure” from the minimum sentence calculated from Legleitner’s sentence points and gave him time already served of 722 days.
While the basic facts of the meme are true, the sentences were handed down a year apart — not on the same day — and the meme didn’t explain Legleitner spent no time in prison after his conviction because he was given a sentence equal to time already served in jail.