Thursday, June 7, 2007

This Makes A Travesty Of Our Legal System

Paris Hilton, heiress, party-girl, and media darling, convicted and sentenced to 45 days in jail for repeated violations of probation arising out of a DUI charge - then inexplicably sentenced to 23 days in jail - is now out after five days in jail. This is some kind of joke.

Apparently, Paris was not happy in jail and was crying. After visits by her personal psychiatrist and her lawyer, Paris was released from prison, apparently on the "verge of a nervous breakdown."

Ms. Hilton will now spend the next 40 days "confined" to her mansion wearing an ankle bracelet. As William Booth of the Washington Post dryly noted:

It could not be immediately determined if personalizing the bracelet with Swarovski crystals would interfere with its transmission capabilities.
There should not be two systems of justice in the United States. There was no question of guilt in this matter. And Ms. Hilton, despite her massive net worth, should not have been treated any different then any other American. Releasing her after five days in jail sends every possible wrong signal. It tells every American that, if you have enough money, you can receive justice not available to all others. It tells every person below the age of 21 who follows Ms. Hilton that the justice system can be manipulated and that actions do not necessarilly have consequences. The judge who issued this decision to let Ms. Hilton leave jail after five days should be fired. Then maybe at least one appropriate message could be sent to America - and it would help redeem public perception of a legal system with little legitimacy at the moment. As it stands, this special treatment of Paris Hilton makes a travesty of our legal system.

The Judge in this case is Los Angeles Court Judge Michael T. Sauer. He can be reached at (213) 744-4057 in case you would like to let him know how you feel about this decision.

Update: What I posted above was incorrect. Ms. Hilton was released by the Sheriff, a decision that outraged not only the public, but the Judge as well. He recalled Ms. Hilton to court and has now ordered her back to jail to serve out the remainder of her sentence. That is appropriate. Justice is served.

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