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Is Lindsay Lohan a victim of celebrity justice? Or criminal justice?

LiloHas the Beverly Hills judge who sentenced Lindsay Lohan to 90 days in jail for repeated probation violations made an unfair example out of the star of "Mean Girls" and "The Parent Trap"? Or is the tearful Lohan a prima donna who expected her fame and fortune to buy her leniency?

I think it's the latter.

For the last couple of years, stories of Lohan's escapades have provided ample fodder to gossip magazines, newspapers and blogs. They've been impossible to ignore.

So no one should have been too surprised to see a picture of the distraught Lohan on the front page of Wednesday's LATExtra section, with a caption saying she's headed for jail and then rehab for something she hadn't done — attend weekly alcohol education classes previously ordered by the judge.

The Times article quoted Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Marsha N. Revel saying she’d pretty much had enough from Lohan. "There were a number of instances of [Lohan] not taking things seriously," Revel said. "It's like someone who cheats but doesn't think it's cheating if they don't get caught."

Lohan's long list of transgressions includes missing court hearings, offering dubious explanations for her absences and failing to fulfill her duties outside the courtroom.

Celebrities have ample reasons to expect leniency in the entertainment capital of the world. Juries have proved unusually sympathetic to celebrity defendants, with O.J. Simpson being Exhibit A. Prosecutors have pulled their punches too -- for example, see the deal that Roman Polanski was offered before he fled the country.

But the pendulum swings both ways. Some judges and prosecutors have been accused of coming down especially hard on star defendants to demonstrate that they don't play favorites. Witness Paris Hilton being sent to jail for 45 days in 2007 for violating probation on a reckless driving conviction. Luckily for Hilton, Sheriff Lee Baca thought the jail term was excessive; he released her five days later. As a New York Times article put it, "Ms. Hilton, for all her money and celebrity, seems to have been caught between battling arms of the justice system here, with prosecutors and Judge [Michael T.] Sauer determined to make a point by incarcerating her, only to have the sheriff’s office let her go."

Some believe Revel went over the top with Lohan. Opined the blog Opposing Views, "It is not the law’s or society’s business to interfere with Lohan’s alcohol or drug habits – leave the kid alone – her legal problems stem from impaired driving so simply suspending her right to drive eliminates the problem without making a big deal out of what is not our business."

I disagree. That presumes the only way a drug addict or alcoholic could cause problems is in a car. And it ignores the fact that Lohan had a blatant disregard for the law.

Ultimately, though, I believe that in Lohan's case, celebrity justice took a backseat to criminal justice. For the three years since her arrest in 2007, Lohan has broken the law repeatedly, ignored court orders and evinced no improvement in her addictions. Why is it unreasonable to sentence her to three months in jail and three months in rehab?

Those of you who think the justice system has done wrong by Lindsay, take heart. According to The Times piece, she’s not likely to serve her entire sentence because of "severe jail overcrowding." Los Angeles County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said most female offenders serve less than a quarter of their sentences with good behavior.

Now, if Lohan can just manage the good behavior.

-- Emilia Barrosse

Credit: David McNew / Getty Images

 

Comments () | Archives (31)

The comments to this entry are closed.

laura

I personally think her sentence is barely adequate. If this were anyone else she would not have been given all the chances she had. She's had a LOT of chances. It's Lindsay's own fault she's going to jail and rehab and it could (and maybe should) have been a lot worse.

Debbie

The Lindsay Lohan saga continues and it's easier to predict the ending even if she goes to jail and another try at rehab. It's a matter of time because Lindsay is bent on her own destruction and no amount of jail time or rehab is going to alter the inevidable. Dying by accidental over dose seem to be more of a goal in young hollywood than tragedy.

Lots of people have parents that are immature and self absorbed and they manage to rise above it. Lindsay it seems is not one of those people.

The tears leave me cold and unsympathetic

J.L.

Lohan is lucky she did not receive six months jail time. The courts do not tolerate disrespectful offenders well.

Norm Silverer

Lohan is a hard core addict. She will cheat, lie, steal or harm others just to protect here ability to obtain her drug of choice. The sentence is too lax still. She thinks she can manipulate the judicial system. She is her own worst enemy.

Joe Thompson

It looks like Lindsay Lohan is finally going to realize that THE LAW really does apply to everyone ... even to Hollywood actresses.

Jeez, you'd think that someone around Lindsay would tell her about how Robert Downey really DID have to do some serious prison time when he was out of control about 5-10 years ago. Charlie Sheen's been to jail a few times too and he's the star of one of a very popular TV show.

The court doesn't give special treatment just because you're a young woman who's decent looking and happens to be an actress in Hollywood. I'm sure that if Jennifer Anniston did all the same stuff that Lindsay did, she'd be going to jail too.

Maybe if Lindsay does the FULL 90 days in jail and the FULL 90 days of inpatient treatment she might actually come out and have a much better 2011 in her acting career. She needs a full course of "Real World 101" ... you know where you can't just whine and cry your way out of your problems and you are held accountable for your actions.

It's better that she learn now at age 24 instead of ending up as a washed up, drugged out B movie actress who's out of show business altogether in a couple of years. Plenty of young actresses end up like that.

Jolie

Dear Media - I don't care! I repeat ... I don't care anything about Lindsey Lohan. I have no idea how or why anyone else does ... I DON'T CARE!!! Must you shove this down our throats like it's important 24-7? Who cares???

Ckk

Lindsay Lohan got less than she deserves. Why do I say this? Because she could have killed someone and this is what ''the People"'s case is about.
Less arrogence, more responsible, about the same age, a 19 year old killed my husband, because he decided to use the emergency lane to move faster than the stalling traffic on the Long Island Expressway. So I barely survived with two small children and this young man got a ticket for not proceeding cautiously. He was underinsured and we had rough times. The young man was not drunk or impaired, except for his immaturity and disregard that he could do something so horrible. Lindsay, can do something so horrible, she could orphan children, cause 20 years of struggle their parents never expected they would endure. Lindsay if you have a heart, take your punishment, learn from it and save lives. You are so out of control, arrogent, unrealistic and irresponsible. When you move on, you will see that the Judge did the right thing, she put a brake on your outrageous behavior for now. Hopefully, you won't continue and you will be a spokesperson for living a responsible, respectful, somber life. Watch your step in jail, the inmates aren't spoiled and you will not get your own way.

Joe Thompson

I think it would be a good thing for Lindsay to not take ANY drugs of ANY kind during her 90 days in jail and when she goes back to rehab for 90 days .... whether a doctor prescribes them for her or not.

It seems like half of Hollywood has prescription drug problems. In addition to alcohol, cocaine and other recreational drugs, Lindsay might be addicted to painkillers or tranquilizers or god knows what. I hear these prescription drugs that are SUPPOSED TO help them end up making them worse in the long run.

That actor Corey Haim was probably addicted to prescription drugs for 20 years before he died a few months ago. He was taking all sorts of stuff. Hollywood actors better beware of these so called "Dr. Feelgood" doctors out there. They'll get you hooked just as easily as a local gangbanger drug dealer. I think a lot of these doctors just want to make money and couldn't care less about their patients. Michael Jackson's doctor sure as heck didn't. He's dead too now.

Lindsay Lohan did a magazine photo shoot portraying Marilyn Monroe a year ago or so. Lindsay could be dead at a younger age than Marilyn at the rate she's going. Lindsay might be stuffing 5 tranquilizers and a bunch of painkillers into her mouth right now and might not even make it jail.

Hilltop

Wow...nobody's blaming Obama for this one.....LOL

Wanda

I personally believe Lindsay should of received more time, both in jail and in rehab. Lindsay nedds a reality adjustment and I believe this judge is trying to save her life. Sadly, I don't think it will do any good. Lindsay likes to be right and I'm afraid she will do something drastic trying to convince everyone that she is a victim. Lindsay no longer has anything to loose.

me

An unfair example, my behind. This girl should be in mandatory lockdown. They all should be. This nonsense started a long time ago with celebrities getting off on lighter sentences. I mean O.J. is still walking around for Christ's sakes. But this b.s. of "stars" being able to pay their way out of jail time is absurd. Here where I live, if you drink and drive, you do time. You pay heavy fines. Funny today of all days that I read this article, because today is the third anniversary of my sister's death. My 13 year old sister, full of promise, full of life, ripped from her and my family by one person who chose to drink and drive. This "petty" offense needs to be brought into the spotlight and ENFORCED. If they're giving me tickets for texting while driving, they damn well better start doing something more about the hollywood drinking and driving situation. I hate hollywood. I will never pay for another movie. I will never add to their pockets. Corrupted industry.

geo

I hope she gets better, poor girl, its obvious she need alot of love. Thats all she needs, you can see it that she is screaming for some kind of attention. I mean her mother and father were never there for her, there is no one to control her and to tell her right from wrong. I truly hope she gets better and learns her lesson. Dont judge her.

Alanna

She doesnt belong to Hollywood . She belongs to a low class trailer trash place especially with all her baggy eyes and ugly face . She should get kicked out ASAP . I cant believe she even got accepted to step in Hollywood .

Jason W.

Hello,

Poor little girl with her issues, she is insanly hot, but I think that her looks and lack of acting ability will not get her out of this one (nice try with the tears)...she is just as human as anyone else, suck it up because you are getting what is deserved for not following that you agreed on. Lohan is not a victim, she is a party girl who may need to grow from her time in jail...she may find that this was a good experience for the future?

TigerWoods

Glad Neil Fifer kicked her to the curb when he was done with her.

Frances

It could be the best thing for her. IF she served 90 days in gaol and 90 days in rehab, that's 6 months of no drugs or drinking. She may also learn to appreciate freedom and what she has.

In the meantime I think this is the best entertainment she has ever provided. Moreover, if she was smart she'd turn over a new leaf, apologize to the public and milk it for all the publicity she can get- the public would love her and go crazy for her. But, I doubt she's that smart or capable of really turning over a new leaf ;-)

Gus Hastalis

Lindsay Lohan is ill. Perhaps this mandated stay in prison will be just the thing to help her to save herself from herself. Reality orientation is most needed. Thanks to Ms. Barrosse for clearly seeing this.

A52R

If it was me doing these irresponsible things I would be under the jail. The court system cuddles these folks. Lock her up!

Buzz99

Most people don't takle into account that Lindsay has been taking Aderall for a while now. A stimulant prescribed for ADHD patients, highly addictive, like speed. Mix prescription drugs and alcohol and it's a toss up on how anyone will react to the cocktail. And as far as the ankle bracelet, some one could have spilled a drink on her leg. What does anyone know?
When you're Lindsay Lohan, you wont suffer the same intake as plain ordinary offender, not by far. Advice: Do what they say when they say it, don't talk back and it will be over much sooner. Grab paper and pencil and write and draw and take a break. Get some books and read. You might do 20 days if you're good. Burgers from In and Out close by and no green bologna for you. The judge is just making an example of you, so don't be an A hole. Just take it, look at Robert Downey Jr. and what he went through.

Thnkful4HisGrace

Judge Revel is a very fair judge. She is not swayed by a person's fame or lack thereof.

biggy smalls

celebrity justice

jamie

i think she is fit

michael dilks

I personally think her sentence is barely adequate. If this were anyone else she would not have been given all the chances she had. She's had a LOT of chances. It's Lindsay's own fault she's going to jail and rehab and it could (and maybe should) have been a lot worse.

debbie

My view is that she should be treated equally with any other person committing these offences and that the sentencing should be commensurate with the crime.

Why should factors such as money, fame or social status contribute to different levels of sentencing for those who offend?

Why are we so shocked when celebrities commit a criminal offence? Are we equally as shocked by others committing similar crimes that occur quotidiennly?

If perhaps celebrites were not placed on such a high platform, then our expectations of them would not be as high; this would then reduce the gap of disappointment and outrage if they happen to fall off.

biggy s

I personally think her sentence is not enough. If this were anyone else she would have been locked up earlier. She's had a too many chances. It's Lindsay's own fault she's going to jail and rehab and it could of been worse

Martin

Lindsay Lohan deserves everything she gets just becasue she is a celebrity does not mean that she should be immune from jail terms. If anyone else had acted this way by violating there agreement they would of been put straight into jail without question

Tibbz

Celebrities can only have so many chances, especially when it comes to criminal justice. In Lindsay's case however this is quite an understatment, she continues to break the law at any given oppertunity and seems to get away with it with minor consequences, maybe to keep up her reputation of the "Hollywood badgirl". What she must remember is celebrity or no celebrity, no-one is above the law!

sean

i like food can we go for a tab plz :)

michael dilks

I feel that she is getting off with a slap on the wrist compared with normal people, I feel that the court should treat everyone else the same no matter how famous they are or the justice system is treating everyone unfairly.

sean

all she is getting is a slap on the wrist

Julie

What a bunch of self-rightious Puritans we are in this country. I believe she should have been given a jail sentence, a fine and community service and that's it. It should have been done a long time ago. She's been a victim of the system for too long. It's been years. Her career is ruined. Who wouldn't drink? I don't believe society should impose morality sentences. If someone wants to be an addict, let them. As long as she does drink and drive or has possession with intent to sell, leave her alone. What? Are we going to have morality police next in this baby-sitter country.


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