Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Rich and Famous

I am ashamed to admit that I know that Lindsay Lohan served 84 minutes in jail last week for her guilty plea in August to settle two DUI charges. I know it because a staple of morning drive-time radio is celebrity gossip, and this was some of the gossip offered up. The male half of the dynamic duo that I listen to took the opportunity to rail once again about how there are two different justice systems in the United States, one for the rich and powerful and one for the rest of us. If any of us had been facing charges like Lohan was, he assured us, we would be looking at five years at least. And where did that five years come from? Well, some guy claiming to be a Houston cop had called the show when Lohan was arrested over the summer to say that that's what someone in her position would be looking at in Texas. Texas, mind you. Not California. Because, you know, laws can differ from state to state. I'm just guessing here, but I think that the reason for the purported cop's judgment was for the fact that one of the charged Lohan was facing was cocaine possession (though, as far as I can tell, possession of small amounts of cocaine is a felony in Texas but not one that will get you five years for a first-time offense). Of course, what people are charged with is frequently far different from what they plead guilty to, even if they aren't rich and famous. And then there's the matter of the Los Angeles County Jail, where Lohan was incarcerated. Even a rudimentary amount of research reveals that it is severely overcrowded and that is under a Federal court order to limit that overcrowding. The result of this is that just about everybody who serves time in the Los Angeles County Jail is released early. Yes, even Lindsay Lohan. But don't let facts get in the way of a self-righteous rant, Mr. Idiot DJ guy.

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