Saturday, August 25, 2007

82 Minute Jail Sentence


As someone who has never been in trouble with the law for more than speeding, I have never feared the thought of going to jail. I choose to avoid activities that could risk my freedom, so I have nothing to fear. With my very limited knowledge of the prison system, I always thought that the minimum sentence was one day in jail.

Two celebrities who got into some trouble lately have been given slaps on their wrists. The first one is Lindsay Lohan, who was arrested twice in the last few months for drunk driving. Cocaine was also found in her pocket at the police station. She had a plea bargain for one day in jail. This was not one DUI, but two of them. Her one day of jail is a gift.

The second celebrity is Nicole Richie. She shocked me by only having to go to jail for 82 minutes. When I heard that, I was shocked. My shock is based on the fact that never knew that prisoners could be given less than a day in jail. But only 82 minutes? What can you learn in 82 minutes? By being in jail for less than a day, or less than the length of a bad movie, she gets to avoid the real problems of prison. If I was in jail for 82 minutes, I would not sit down and I definitely would not use the bathroom. I would not have to eat the bad food. I would not have to get settled in.

I think that less than a day in jail may not do the trick, but I can’t judge that. Maybe just having those bars slam and being confined has changed Nicole Richie. But I truly don’t think that they were worried about punishment. Here’s what I really think.

They don’t want the problems of Paris Hilton.

Keeping Paris Hilton in jail was a pain for the prison system because of extra need of security. If one thing happened to Paris while in jail, everyone would know about it. The prison system even wanted to send her home. They did for a day, until the judge in the case sent her back to jail.

Nicole Richie is pregnant.

How good is prison food for a pregnant woman? Jail is not supposed to be comfortable, but if they could minimize the effects on one pregnant woman, it may be best for the baby. I think that in this case, her pregnancy may have played a role in her smaller sentence, even more than her celebrity status.

I just hope that Nicole Richie straightens out her life for the sake of her child. Now that she’s having a baby, she cannot live like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.

But in the case of Lindsay Lohan, getting one day in jail for two DUIs seems absolutely wrong. Would they have given her half a day for one DUI? Or how about 82 minutes?

If Lindsay Lohan gets another DUI, then I hope she gets Paris’ judge.

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