The end of celebrity justice

Guy Adams

48275280 009755756 1 The end of celebrity justice

It wasn’t so long ago that being moderately famous seemed, quite literally, like a license to get away with murder. Remember the first OJ Simpson trial? Michael Jackson’s acquittal? Recall how major stars, with their expensive lawyers and commanding stage presence used to run rings round star-struck jurors?

Well things are certainly different now. A few years back, Martha Stewart did time for a minor offence. Then Paris Hilton followed in her dainty footsteps. After that, the trickle turned to a flood. OJ and Phil Spector may now very well be in jail for the rest of their natural lives. And earlier this week, Lindsay Lohan, above, became the latest addition to the ranks of Hollywood jailbirds when she was sentenced to 90 days for violating her parole agreements following a brace of drink-driving convictions.

Whichever way you look at things, this particular spell in chokey does seem stiff. Ms Lohan’s various transgressions were moronic in the extreme, but she is currently a danger to no-one but herself, and imprisoning her for three months will achieve little except drain money from already-bankrupt State of California’s criminally-overcrowded prison system.

In fact, read through the various transcripts of her recent court appearances, and it’s difficult to see the purpose (apart from wrecking a once-promising career) of the weird ankle braclelets and the  “alcohol education classes” that LA judge Marsha Revel has so smugly forced la Lohan to attend for most of the past year.

We all know that the public looks at its celebrities through cynical eyes these days. And we also know that throwing the book at a famous person is a very easy way  for a showboating judge to strike a chord with that sentiment while also generating cheap publicity. But is it too much to ask for the court system of the most litigous nation on earth to treat everyone equally, regardless of their Hollywood status?

Tagged in: , , , , , , ,
  • CastratoPig

    “she is currently a danger to no-one but herself” – Well that rather depends on what you think might happen when someone is pissed and driving.

  • manderville

    The problem is that many people try and copy various celebrities and if they see them getting away with being irresponsible and things like drink driving then they will try it too.Maybe a spell in jail for a celebrity may deter other idiots from this behaviour.

  • Me, myself and I

    O how ignorant. It’s an ignorant miss conception to assume jurors are ‘’star struck”.. Many celebs, including James Brown have served time in jail long before OJ Simpson’s case. And Btw OJ Simpson ‘s case was a highly racially emotive case in a land that is plagued by race. Half the jury was black, and it was a hung jury that had to go to a majority vote . So the whole jury did not agree with the verdict in the OJ trial.As for Jackson, many Jurors admitted after the trial was over, that due to negative media coverage of Jackson (which had him convicted b4 a trial had began) they thought he may be guilty before they even stepped into a court of law. However the evidence was not there to convict Jackson. There was in fact a lot evidence that proved the accuser’s family as past liars and extortionists, including examples of previous molestation cases which the family had lied about under oath. So please do some research about the American judicial system and its history with celebrities. Many celebrities are lucky enough to be able to afford good lawyers, unlike the poor in America. The poor who make up most of the population in American prisons, and many of them black are not always able to best defend themselves due to lack of funds even when they are INNOCENT. America also incarcerates more people than any other nation on earth.

  • cawobeth

    I saw no point reading on after the 1rst paragraph because it states a falsehood & misconception by too many people, including yourself, Guy Adams.
    The cases of Michael Jackson & OJ Simpson have no relation.
    Michael Jackson was not acquitted because of fame & wealth.
    He was acquitted by highly investigated, hard-core evidence.
    I wish people, who dare call themselves journalists, would please learn to base their articles on factual reference rather than opinions, rumors & previous perverse sensationalism. You do the public at large a great dis-service by speaking cheap talk instead of reporting actual news.
    Not to mention that Michael Jackson’s legacy is to be respected, not tarnished by lies and the disgraceful greed of media that promoted more lies.
    Truth is something to be valued, not shunned.

  • cawobeth

    Here’s some factual follow-up refs. for you, in case you dare have humility concerning the actual case of Mr. Jackson :
    Books- “Michael Jackson Conspiracy”; Aphrodite Jones & “Redemption”; Geraldine Hughes
    Film “The Untild Story of Neverland”; Larry Nimmer
    articles by Charles Thomson in Huffington Post of 6-13-10 & 3-2-10
    also articles by Mary Ficsher

    If you ever enjoy the honestly composed works of Michael Jackson, you may care to respect this great artist by learning the truth.
    And, you may very well gain some exposure by joining the many of us who are bringing attention to the truth again now.
    MORE ruth & integrity back to media !!!

  • cawobeth

    side note- I am not making a call on the OJ S case or taking for granted that Black Americans (and other minorities) also tend to be more scrutinized & prejudged than White Americans.
    My point is that it is highly disrespectful to flippantly mention these 2 cases in one paragraph with false pretense.
    It’s high time that people be treated respectful as individuals; not labeled and so awfully sensationalized.

  • primitiu

    i’m guessing Roman Polanski undermines your theory.

  • primitiu

    i'm guessing Roman Polanski undermines your theory.

Property search
Browse by area

Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter