Celebrity justice: Lohan, others get star treatment
Source Noelle Nikpour SunSentinel.com
In 1998, Lindsay Lohan played twin girls, a spirited American and a classy Brit, in the movie
"Parent Trap." It was a remarkable performance by a child actor capable of portraying convincingly two very different
people who appeared on screen at the same time.
Twelve years later, she is again playing two roles simultaneously
— the addict who breaks the law, and the celebrity who pretty much gets away with it.
Lohan served 14 days
of a 90-day sentence in California's Century Regional Detention Facility after she violated her probation from a 2007 arrest
for drunk driving (her second) and cocaine. How violated? She had missed seven alcohol education classes in 27 weeks. She
offered a variety of excuses, including the death of an uncle whose funeral she did not attend, that the judge did not buy.
Lohan is the latest entrant in the celebrity jail cell
parade. (She spent 84 minutes in the same overcrowded facility in 2007.) Paris Hilton, sentenced to the same jail in 2007 for 45 days for reckless driving,
actually spent 23 days in jail, most of it in medical wards. Nicole Richie and Khloe Kardashian each spent less than a day there on drunk driving charges.
Then there's Charlie Sheen, who received no jail time despite a Christmas Day assault on his
wife. He ended up with 30 days of rehab (do all celebrities go to rehab?) and the requirement to attend anger management classes
after his wife told police that he had held a knife to her throat and threatened to have ex-police officers kill her. The
two have since reconciled, but, if you ask me, he's still the real "half a man" on his show, "Two and a Half
Do celebrities actually get special treatment in the court system? I haven't seen a study proving it,
but it certainly seems so. At the very least, when they are not getting preferential treatment from judges and juries, they
can afford the types of lawyers who can keep them out of jail. Exhibit A: that unpleasantness a few years back involving a
famous football player/actor going unpunished after murdering two people.
There's nothing about the Constitution
that promises that we'll all have equal wealth or equal access even to basic needs, such as health care. It doesn't seem fair
to a kindergartener, but that's how we give people an incentive to work and to better their skills.
But equal justice
under the law is another story. Ensuring that we're all pretty much the same in the eyes of the court system is a cornerstone
of the American legal system. In fact, the Constitution's preamble lists "establish justice" as the second reason
that "We the People" created it, right after "in order to form a more perfect union."
that union hasn't always been perfect, particularly in the pursuit of justice, but the winding march of history has taken
us generally in the right direction. Most would agree that we're all supposed to be read the same Miranda rights, presumed
innocent until proven guilty, and punished accordingly if so proven, no matter our race, ethnic group, or level of fame.
No doubt human nature makes it harder to be tough on a pretty face, particularly if it's a face one recognizes. But
even if most people aren't blind, justice is supposed to be.