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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Celebrity Justice

Paris Hilton is back in jail, and the world is once again safe because a celebrity didn't get special treatment. Or did she?

I'm not a Paris Hilton fan. Like many, I got some pleasure at hearing her react to 45 days in jail as though she'd been convicted of murder.

However, I think she's a person who's famous strictly because of her name, and she's an embarrassment to the name. At the same time, I think some of the hysterics about her jail term, and early release are as overblown as her celebrity, regardless of my reaction to her reaction.

While Al Sharpton and many others have waxed indignant about the release of Hilton after 3 days because of "a medical condition", ABC radio news noted that most folks in LA County who go to jail for driving on a suspended license twice after a DUI get 1 night in the county jail, not 45, or 22, or 3.

Sherriff Lee Baca seems to be on Hilton's side, telling reporters that "The only thing I can detect as special treatment is her sentence." "The special treatment, in a sense, appears to be because of her celebrity status."

That's not necessarily a bad thing, celebrities are, like it or not, role models. So maybe they should get a little more time in lockup for minor offenses, so those who look up to them see the consequences more clearly.

At the same time, the rest of the news world should be reporting things in an apple vs. apple way. I happened to catch Headline News, CNN, and ABC TV reports the other night, all of which neglected to mention what ABC Radio did about the amount of time other offenders for the same thing served in LA County. Instead they all concentrated on the injustice of her being released early, even though the Sheriff noted that 10% of the sentences is all most non-violent traffic offenders serve because of overcrowding.

If you really need to be appalled by "celebrity justice" Tom Sizemore would probably be a better person to be pissed about. If Al Sharpton wants a good case to make on it, look at Sizemore's drug record, probation violation record, and amount of time spent in jail and compare that to some inner city kid. That is a case of celeb justice out of control; though it looks like Tom may (finally) be headed to San Quentin for his latest arrest.

Hilton, well she's just doing what she does best, getting publicity.

Technorati Tags: Justice, Jail, Paris Hilton, Tom Sizemore, Lee Baca

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