Get Out of Jail Free Card

Topics: Criminal law, Criminal justice, Law Pages: 6 (2365 words) Published: February 15, 2014
Assignment 5: Persuasive Paper Part 3: Possible Disadvantages, Answers, with Visuals Celebrity DUI , The Law And The Get Out of Jail Free Card

Research & Writing 12/8/2013

Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Khloe Khardasian, Brandy Norwood and Mel Gibson are famous celebrities best known for their Hollywood status and onscreen behaviors. The celebs mentioned are also famous for their off-screen behaviors (DUI arrests.) Now we don’t ever like to think ill of these famous people, or look at them in the negative , as they entertain us, make us smile and we often spend our free time watching their craft. It makes you wonder if justice is blinded by the shine of a “Superstars” status? Briskman asked the question, “Have the criminal implications of breaking the law for celebrities lapsed over the years? Or have celebrities realized that, thanks to their popularity and financial prosperity, top-notch attorneys are able to side step the traditional harsh penalties?”(Briskman,2010.) The constitution of the United States begins with the three words, “We The People” and that stands for all people. Our criminal justice system needs to be reminded of the beginning of our constitution when sentencing occurs.

We as a people of this civilized nation need to take some responsibility for the bias of our criminal justice system. We lift and hoist the celebrities to a high pedestal and treat them with such high regard that an obvious boundary needs to be made clear. We as a people need to not tolerate this type of injustice. We need to make our voices heard and hold those accountable if this type of behavior continues.

It seems that, if you are famous, make an “error in judgment,” and wind up on the wrong side of the law, your chance of coming out unscathed is highly likely. The average person does not have this opportunity or chance to escape severe punishment because they do not have the same access to the resources as those with celebrity. The average person is not provided with the same number of chances or opportunities to get his or herself together if there has been repeated trouble with the law. It seems as though, if you have celebrity status coupled with a lot of money, you will be able to get a great lawyer who will persuade the court to rule in the favor of the celebrity. There seems to be a flaw in the criminal justice system. It has become increasingly apparent that justice is not blind to the status of the defendant. This indeed is a huge problem. The criminal justice system “needs to look beyond celebrity status and financial and view every person as someone who has broken the law.” (Briskman, 2010). Often celebrities are given lighter sentences, rehabilitation or extensive lengths of probation as punishment, which is unfair to say the least. Surely the welfare and concern for safety would be considered at sentencing but this isn’t considered in most cases. If celebrities are allowed to simply pay fines to extend their freedom, why is this not being extended to the common man? From a moral perspective, what type of message are we sending to all people when celebrities are allowed to get probation for criminal offenses? I feel as if we are also sending a message a bad message to children and that message is that if you have status or celebrity, you are above the law. ? We need to make sure that we teach all people law doesn’t work for some us but all of us. We also need to hold those accountable when they show a bias to celebrity. We are giving too much power to the famous and we are making them feel privileged. Although a person has attained celebrity status, it doesn’t mean that status should be regarded higher than the law. In order for society to get a handle on the difference of treatment of criminal actions by the famous verses the common man, we need to take a hard look at ourselves and...

References: Barnett, D. (2007). Hollywood Celebrities above the Law. Entertainment Scene 360. Retrieved 11/16/2013, from
Briskman, M. (2010, October). Get Out of Jail Free Card: Fame and Money. Law Commentator. Retrieved 11/16/2013, from
Topher (2011, March). Celebrity DUI Arrests of Last 5 Years. Total Dui Blog. Retrieved 11/15/2013, from
Laurie (2007, July). Celebrities Arrested for DUI. Yahoo Voices. Retrieved 12/8/2013., from
Duke (2013, October) Lamar Odom pleads not guilty to DUI. CNN Entertainment. Retrieved 12/8/2013, from
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