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View Diary: Am I Really About To Do This? In Defense of Paris Hilton (164 comments)

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  •  There aren't a lot of celebrities (0+ / 0-)

    incarcerated in the LA County jail at the moment. I believe news stories indicated she was in a two person cell and had it all to herself. Because that section of the jail is reserved, she wasn't taking up a bed needed for another inmate.

    And as far as excessive punishment goes, she isn't being excessively punished. She's getting off very light considering she was only issued a warning on her first probation violation, where most average joes would have been brought in. I'll add whenever one violates probation it automatically lengthens their jail time because probation violation is in and of itself a sentencable crime. It can make a 2-3 day jail time turn into 6 months or even a year, especially if it is habitual as it seemed to be in miss Hilton's case.

    I'm an average joe and I served 60 days for driving with a suspended license (no probation violation). She's only going to have to spend 18 days if she behaves herself and she gets credit for the time she spent in her home. That's a cakewalk compared to the sentence I got.

    Sorry CB, she gets no sympathy from these quarters. She screwed up and she needs to serve her time just like I did.

    So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Sun Jun 10, 2007 at 12:02:38 AM PDT

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    •  We have an honest disagreement (0+ / 0-)

      when comparing your sentence to that of PH because I believe the issue of over-crowding is different in every county while the mandate to relieve over-crowding is not. However, I appreciate the way your arguments respond to the concerns I have addressed without animosity and you have not introduced irrelevant factors like her privileged status in life when considering justice for all.

      Some folks are so bent out of shape over this and it is repulsive, but your response is refreshing. Thank you.

      •  I get that (0+ / 0-)

        you believe she is being treated harshly by the judge due to her celebrity status. I personally don't think he's taking any of that into account. I think he sees her as a spoiled rich kid who needs some tough love and a wakeup call.

        Hopefully she will make good use of her remaining days in custody and actually think about what she did to end up where she is. Maybe, just maybe she'll grow up and become a responsible adult. I can say it worked for me.

        So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Sun Jun 10, 2007 at 01:29:11 PM PDT

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        •  If the judge... (0+ / 0-)

          considers her status as a "spoiled rich kid" into his judgement, then he is not being fair to everyone. Her celebrity or her money should not be a consideration. However, if he feels she "needs some tough love and a wakeup call" then he should apply the same ruling to others. My understanding is that his ruling exceeds precedent because it has NEVER happened in the entire history of LA county justice. Am I left to believe no one in the entire history of LA county justice has ever needed "some tough love and a wakeup call"? Is it possible that her status as a "spoiled rich kid" WAS the difference in this case?

          •  Every case is different (0+ / 0-)

            It can be easily argued that a one size fits all approach isn't effective or fair as well. Miss Hilton showed a clear disregard for the laws and previous court orders, and in cases like that judges tend to be pretty harsh.

            If all she was guilty of is a DUI, then yes in that light her sentence is probably a bit harsh compared to what others routinely get for the same infraction (and mine was REALLY harsh since I wasn't endangering anyone, I just let my insurance lapse while I wasn't driving), but when you combine it with a pattern of disregard for the law she exhibited by violating probation more than once, that changes things and invites the full fury of the court. It's possible this judge was getting fed up with people in the privileged class acting like they could do anything they want and therefore is sending a message that if they don't follow the rules, they will be punished and publicly humiliated.

            That being said neither of us can read the judge's mind. He is well within the bounds of his office by issuing the sentence he issued regardless of what is routinely given to others for the same infraction. It wasn't like he put her in the state pen for five years.

            So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

            by Cali Techie on Sun Jun 10, 2007 at 02:08:42 PM PDT

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            •  We agree.. (0+ / 0-)

              ...that "every case is different" and we agree that the judge has every right to unleash the full "fury of the court" if she is disrespectful of the court. However, the amount of time or place is irrelevant. Otherwise, it would become accpetable to put people in county jail for 4 years even if the offense were a minor jaywalking because "It wasn't like they were in the state pen for five years." The issue is was it excessive compared to similar offenses? Furthermore, if this case was decided on a basis of

              this judge was getting fed up with people in the privileged class acting like they could do anything they want and therefore is sending a message

              then that represents retribution and I maintain that is not justice.

              My concern is how these non-mitigating factors are being used to justify justice when I believe they represent retribution.

              You're right that we cannot "read the judge's mind" and maybe he made his judgement based on the contributing factors instead of these irrelevant factors of celebrity, time, and place. However, the court of public opinion certainly is not judging that way. That is a concern because I'm convinced it is unjust and in the end, it perverts our judicial system just as much as allowing preferential treatment for celebrities. Thank you for your consideration.

              •  I don't see it as unjust (0+ / 0-)

                Again given my experiences with the judicial system I think she's getting off easy. Sentences are at the court's discretion within sentencing guidelines (which is why jaywalking isn't a 4 year penalty). For a misdemeanor like DUI, a judge can sentence her to up to a year in jail for it. 18 real days in jail is not that long!

                And all justice has an element of retribution. It's not called a debt to society for nothing. She showed a pattern of disrespect for the law and the court. Therefore the judge had every right to order her to jail and deny house arrest.

                Something else to consider. Paris Hilton is not the average joe. She has none of the problems you or I would face by going to jail. It's really not much more to her than just being grounded for a couple of weeks and having all of her privileges taken away. She doesn't have to worry about lost income, losing her job, or the long term effects it will have on her career. She doesn't have to worry about losing her home or her possessions while she's in jail. Even if she is having to spend more time in jail than the average joe would, it's not a hardship for her in any way other than she gets to suffer a little bit of humiliation (which I think she needs, quite frankly) and isn't able to do whatever she wants whenever she wants for a few days. Poor baby. NOT.

                So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

                by Cali Techie on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 07:43:53 AM PDT

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                •  Martin Luther King wasn't an "average Joe" either (0+ / 0-)

                  And he was given preferencial treatment if the standard is that he was not placed with the general population. Would you apply the same kind of thinking that MLK had enough money that his incarceration didn't represent hardship and therefore it must be just?

                  Although a "little bit of humiliation" would probably do Paris some good as you stated, that does not justify how the rule of law is applied or should be applied. Otherwise, we'd imprison people for being self-absorbed and the REAL criminals would be released because of prison over-crowding. Which is the truth in America's prison system as we incarcerate more people per capita than ANY nation in the western world all too often allowing violent offenders a lesser sentence.

                  I don't think race, gender, or social status has ANY bearing on how one is judged by the law. That's why there's an old adage that says "Justice is blind" but in this case, social status matters.

                  •  What does MLK have to do with this? (0+ / 0-)

                    He wasn't arrested for DUI and then for subsequent parole violations.

                    You're conflating two different things; being separated from the rest of the jail population with the amount of time she was sentenced to serve. The only thing she and MLK have in common is they were separated from the general population because of their fame and notoriety. Money has nothing to do with it.

                    You're wandering off on a huge tangent here and your arguments are no longer coherent or cohesive.

                    Bottom line: The judge had every right under the law to do what he did. If he didn't you can bet the Hiltons' army of lawyers would be tripping over each other to appeal his ruling. They're not because they don't have a leg to stand on. Neither your opinion nor mine really matter and if we keep this up, we'll still be posting to this old diary long after she's out of jail and having her release party.

                    So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

                    by Cali Techie on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 11:45:58 PM PDT

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                    •  The judge has every right... (0+ / 0-)

             do what he did and the sheriff has every right to do what he did too. It happens in EVERY county in America. The judge passes judgement and the executors of the prisons (in this case the sheriff) executes that judgement as he sees fit.

                      You're right. This has gone on too long. I hope America is sick of it so that the next celebrity or rich guy gets treated with less malice than that exposed by Paris Hilton.

                      We apparently will not agree on the fairness of the sentence, but at least I hope America learned from it too.

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