Thursday, June 07, 2007

Law & Order for the Rich

State Republicans are concerned that releasing prisoners early is a risk to the public. I wonder if they'll have anything to say about this news from the WaPo:
Paris Hilton was released from a Los Angeles County jail early Thursday because of an unspecified medical problem and will fulfill the remainder of her sentence in home confinement, a sheriff's spokesman said.
Due to confidentiality laws, Hilton's medical condition couldn't be divulged (how convenient), but unless she's terminal, I don't see why that should have prevented her from serving the entire 23 day sentence. Sick people go to jail all the time.

In fact, did you catch Larry King's
interview of Jack Kevorkian the other night? Dr. Death described what conditions were like in prison for someone like him who suffers from diabetes, heart disease and hepatitis C.
KING: [..] We're in suburban Detroit, Michigan with Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who has been out of prison now for about 72 hours.

What was that like?

KEVORKIAN: Prison?

KING: Yes.

KEVORKIAN: Well, where I was -- the last one I was at didn't seem like a prison. It seemed more like a geriatric ward. There were sick, crippled people all over. There were wheelchairs and canes everywhere. And there were no bars and the doors were freely open and accessible to anybody.
I sense a double-standard. If an old, poor man assists someone in committing suicide, the system says he must do the time regardless of his health. However, if a pretty, young heiress gets charged with reckless driving and operating a vehicle without a license, the system says she can get out of jail because of her health.

By the way, Kervorkian served 8 of his 10-25 year sentence. Compare that to this WaPo description of Hilton's time served:
According to the sheriff's department's generous math, Hilton has served five days in jail (checking in late Sunday and out early Thursday), and will now have to remain in home confinement for another 40 days.
Geesh.

3 comments:

Lew Scannon said...

But I'm sure Paris really learned her lesson this time! But not really, since she was going to jail for a probation violation, she'll be spotted at a trendy night club in a week because she can't stand not to have her picture in the paper.
(p.s._I heard her "medical condition was she didn't like the jail food and wasn't eating. Poor girl!)

abi said...

Home confinement? I can only imagine how sumptuous a Paris Hilton's home is. Hardly hard time...

Kevorkian is a hero in my book. You may not agree with him, but you've got to admire someone who stands up for what he believes in to the extent he did.

Kathy said...

Lew, I didn't hear that rumor about Paris not liking the food, but as so many hard core, law and order types like to say, "Jail is not meant to be a walk in the park." Or, in this case, it's not meant to be a week at the Hilton Hotel.

Abi, one of the morning news shows had pictures of her $3 million dollar home - and they also mentioned she is allowed to walk around the grounds (pool, tennis court, etc.) and go down to the mailbox!

Regarding Kevorkian, I respect the man too. I don't agree with some of the people he helped (I think they were clinically depressed and probably needed professional help), but I think he's done a lot for people suffering intolerable pain. Because of him, pain management is better understood and doctors now do a much better job of keeping patient's comfortable without worrying about them becoming addicted to drugs.