Actress Felicity Huffman, escorted by her husband William H. Macy, makes her way to the entrance of the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse September 13, 2019 in Boston, where she will be sentenced for her role in the College Admissions scandal. - Huffman, one of the defendants charged in the college admissions cheating scandal, is scheduled to be sentenced for paying $15,000 to inflate her daughters SAT scores, a crime she said she committed trying to be a good parent. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images
Actress Felicity Huffman, escorted by her husband William H. Macy, makes her way to the entrance of the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse September 13, 2019 in Boston, where she will be sentenced for her role in the College Admissions scandal. - Huffman, one of the defendants charged in the college admissions cheating scandal, is scheduled to be sentenced for paying $15,000 to inflate her daughters SAT scores, a crime she said she committed trying to be a good parent. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:49
Felicity Huffman sentenced in college admissions scandal
Now playing
02:43
Senate sends Covid-19 relief bill back to the House for final vote
classroom Brown Mental Health/Covid
PHOTO: CNN
classroom Brown Mental Health/Covid
Now playing
05:03
How is the pandemic affecting mental health in young Americans?
PHOTO: Courtesy of Harpo Productions/CBS
Now playing
03:18
Meghan: I didn't want to be alive anymore
PHOTO: Fresno Police Department
Now playing
03:54
New video: Man told officers 'I can't breathe' before his death
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 2: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo holds a news conference at the National Press Club May 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. Following a closed-door meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House, Cuomo leveled criticism at Republican senators and other politicians that he said want to limit federal aid for New York to combat and recover from the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 2: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo holds a news conference at the National Press Club May 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. Following a closed-door meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House, Cuomo leveled criticism at Republican senators and other politicians that he said want to limit federal aid for New York to combat and recover from the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:21
New York state senate majority leader calls on Cuomo to resign
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:26
Sen. Joe Manchin explains why he wanted changes to relief bill
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 06: President Joe Biden speaks from the State Dining Room following the passage of the American Rescue Plan in the U.S. Senate at the White House on March 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate passed the latest COVID-19 relief bill by 50 to 49 on a party-line vote, after an all-night session. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Samuel Corum/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 06: President Joe Biden speaks from the State Dining Room following the passage of the American Rescue Plan in the U.S. Senate at the White House on March 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate passed the latest COVID-19 relief bill by 50 to 49 on a party-line vote, after an all-night session. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:36
Biden spokesperson: President doesn't want to end the filibuster
Now playing
02:29
MS gov. encourages residents to wear masks despite dropping mandate
Now playing
02:18
Town previously overrun by ISIS prepares to host Pope Francis
Biden 03062021
PHOTO: CNN
Biden 03062021
Now playing
02:28
'Help is on the way': Biden speaks after Senate passes relief plan
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) asks a question at a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC.
PHOTO: Alex Edelman/Pool/Getty Images
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) asks a question at a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
01:40
Trump plans to campaign against Sen. Murkowski in 2022
01 senate stimulus bill 210306
PHOTO: Senate TV
01 senate stimulus bill 210306
Now playing
01:47
Senate passes Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill
Pope Francis meets with Iraq's leading Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf, Iraq, Saturday, March 6, 2021. The closed-door meeting was expected to touch on issues plaguing Iraq's Christian minority. Al-Sistani is a deeply revered figure in Shiite-majority Iraq and and his opinions on religious matters are sought by Shiites worldwide.
PHOTO: Vatican Media/AP
Pope Francis meets with Iraq's leading Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf, Iraq, Saturday, March 6, 2021. The closed-door meeting was expected to touch on issues plaguing Iraq's Christian minority. Al-Sistani is a deeply revered figure in Shiite-majority Iraq and and his opinions on religious matters are sought by Shiites worldwide.
Now playing
01:42
Pope Francis holds historic meeting with revered Shia cleric
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 05: Sen. John Cornyn (R) (R-TX) talks with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) while walking to the U.S. Senate chamber for a vote March 05, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate continues to debate the latest COVID-19 relief bill.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Win McNamee/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 05: Sen. John Cornyn (R) (R-TX) talks with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) while walking to the U.S. Senate chamber for a vote March 05, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate continues to debate the latest COVID-19 relief bill. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:54
Axelrod breaks down Manchin's surprising move
sinema
PHOTO: CNN
sinema
Now playing
01:50
Senator's move has many on the internet outraged
PHOTO: FBI
Now playing
02:58
Trump State Department official charged in Capitol riot

Editor’s Note: Joey Jackson is a legal analyst for CNN and HLN, and a partner at New York City-based Watford Jackson, PLLC. The views expressed here are solely his. Read more opinion on CNN.

(CNN) —  

Wealth, privilege and celebrity will not be keeping Felicity Huffman, 56, out of jail. Apologizing and accepting responsibility, however, will certainly shorten the length of time she stays there. Judge Indira Talwani made the right call in imposing a 14-day sentence based on Huffman’s role in the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal. She is also required to perform 250 hours of community service, pay a $30,000 fine, and be subject to supervised release for one year.

Joey Jackson
PHOTO: Jeremy Freeman/CNN
Joey Jackson

There’s been a lot of speculation and debate over what kind of sentence Huffman deserved. I’ve found myself highly conflicted as to what the ultimate outcome should be. But I am perfectly OK with this one.

On the one hand, this scandal demonstrates how people with money and privilege have nearly unlimited opportunities to perpetuate their family’s high status. The rest of society must play by the rules. Not everyone has the resources necessary to pay someone to take their child’s SAT exam, or bribe a proctor to correct the test after it’s taken.

As such, the less privileged are forced to implore their children to work hard, get good grades, and do their best to stand out among their peers. To earn a fair shot in life, they must rely on grit, hard work, persistence and determination. That includes doing community service and other volunteer work in their communities, aligning themselves with good teachers, and finding great mentors to guide and vouch for them.

Some people look at Huffman’s crimes and ask who the victims are. The answer is simple. We all are victims — each person who makes efforts to live right and do right. All who follow established procedures, rules and protocols are victims, including the parents who try to do things correctly, and who teach their children to do the same. Every child who studies hard and commits themselves to doing the right thing is a victim as well. How many heartbroken children are there who didn’t get into the school of their choice, but perhaps could have — if only they’d cheated?

Yet Huffman’s conduct following the exposure of these crimes has exemplified grace, contrition, remorse and acceptance of responsibility. Instead of making endless excuses, trying to justify her behavior, and directing blame at others, she has owned her actions. That matters.

If there is one thing that our system of justice values heavily, it is a criminal defendant who takes responsibility and owns up to their transgressions. How many people try each day to deflect, misdirect and outright lie to escape blame? Too many. But not Huffman. Throughout this case, she has comported herself in a manner that so many can learn from.

First, she pleaded guilty in a court of law — because she was guilty. Second, all indications are that she has sought to repair her relationship with her family and daughter for concealing the help she was attempting to provide on her behalf. How hard it must have been for her daughter to ask her mom: “Why didn’t you believe in me? Why didn’t you think I could do it on my own?” Third, she released a statement apologizing to her friends and community who love her, hold her in high regard, and expected better. Fourth, she similarly expressed regret and sorrow to her fans and followers whose good will she depends on to make a living. Finally, she told Judge Talwani what she’d done, why she’d done it, and who she hurt in the process — without qualifying or justifying her misdeeds.

In imposing this sentence, the judge sent multiple messages. First, that money, power, privilege and celebrity will not keep you out of jail. Second, that our system of justice respects, appreciates, encourages and rewards those who come clean. Remember, Judge Talwani had the discretion and authority to place her in jail for many months longer than even prosecutors requested. And third, that those who respect the system will be respected by it — through judicial fairness, reason and rationality.

None of us are as good as we are on our best day, nor as bad as we are on our worst day. The value and measure of who and what we are lies somewhere in between. This was a dark day for Huffman. But the way she comported herself after her crimes will make it brighter. Not today nor tomorrow, necessarily — nor even after serving her 14 days. But somewhere down the road.

Get our free weekly newsletter

Huffman’s crime vexes me. But her ownership of it has been impressive. The judge apparently thought so, too.

Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannuli, also stand accused in this case. I find myself wondering what they are thinking. What I’m thinking is that it’s never too late to follow a good example.

This article has been updated to expand on the different strategies used to cheat on standardized tests in the college admissions scandal.