Thursday, August 23, 2007

On crime and punishment

Okay, so yeah, I have been that busy.

It's exhausting.

I've literally had no time to surf the Internet for fun, which means no blogs, which means no links, which means no blogging from me, and after a week-long absence, what pisses me off more than anything? Lindsay Lohan.

Yeah, I know there has to be something more important going on out there. The stock market is yoyo-ing, wingers are plotting to overthrow the Iraqi government, the media have given up on fact checking, apparently Leona Helmsley died, and I'm all, "Hey, a Hollywood celebrity got an unreasonably light sentence for her dangerous crimes! I clutch my pearls in shock!"

But here's what got to me:
But there's more to the story: In deciding whether to file felony cocaine charges, the D.A. always looks at the person and the circumstances. In Lohan's case, the fact that she was busted twice in a short period of time actually helped her. It shows someone is struggling with an addiction problem. The fact that each time she was busted, she immediately checked into a rehab facility also helped her case. Also, her age -- 21 -- and the fact that her upbringing was extremely unstable -- also worked in her favor.

One law enforcement source put it this way: "Prosecutors in this county see a lot of kids in crisis. There are lots of kids struggling with addiction. The first sign of trouble usually involves a car. We're not going to throw every one of them in prison. It doesn't make sense."

Well, no, not every one of them. That would be silly. Just the blacks and the Hispanics. After imprisoning them at disproportionate rates, we can just take care of that whole "overcrowding" thing by letting the pretty white girls walk. She's a kid in crisis!

And I also find it fairly cool that being a repeat offender now gets you leniency. That's going to make huge waves in the legal communiy as they shift their traditional punitive course to, "Three strikes and you're out... on probation, you silly little slugger! Don't go doing those nasty drugs again, now!" Bouncing in and out of rehab like it's an inflatable castle at a company picnic is absolutely a sign that she's committed to recovery. And let's also not forget that this millionaire movie and recording star had an unstable upbringing, as opposed to the thousands of uber-tan youths currently imprisoned on drug charges who've only had to deal with, like, single parents and housing projects and gang violence and concerns about money and food and stuff.

Ugh, I'm tired, and the sarcasm is starting to run out. I just think it sucks, is all. Am I the only person who thinks that maybe "has everything going for her and has chosen to piss it all away because she's spoiled and unsupervised" isn't really valid as a mitigating circumstance when the charges involve driving with a BAC more than twice the legal limit and chasing someone around in an SUV?

I'm not the stealing type, but I'm sorely tempted to try and knock over a convenience store now. And when the cops catch me with my pockets full of crumpled bills from the register and my purse full of purloined snack cakes and maybe a bottle of fuel injector cleaner, I'm going to say, "Hey, listen, you don't know what it's like to grow up comfortable and loved by your parents. When my friends complained about their parents, I was completely unable to commiserate! I had to compete fairly with my peers for class rankings and scholarships! And don't even get me started on the white guilt!" And the cops will be all, "Wow, you're right. That's a tough break. It's a lot to deal with. We're going to let you off with a warning this time, but next time, you need to ask before you leap across the counter and empty the till. And it's okay, you can keep the pastries. Crazy lil' nipper."

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