Paris Hilton Released from Jail

(video here)

Bump and Update: TMZ reports she was released for mental not physical problems. She was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I'll be discussing her release now around 1:45 p.m. ET on BBC News radio.

Post-BBC segment: I was the only one with any sympathy for Paris. [You can listen here, and fast forward to about 40 minutes in.]I think she was sentenced more harshly because she was a celebrity. A non-celebrity would not have received 45 days in solitary confinement. Most of the callers to the show complained about the different standards for the rich and poor. Poor people would not have had a top-notch lawyer or been provided relief due to a medical condition. My answer: Rather than say the rich shouldn't benefit from good counsel and compassionate care while incarcerated, we should find a way to ensure both are available to all inmates and defendants, including the poor ones.

Update: Andrew Cohen at CBS agrees she never would have gotten sentenced to 45 days in the first place had she not been a celebrity. Also getting it right: Blake Fleetwood at Huffington Post.

Update: Paris Hilton's lawyer released this statement with no detail. And once home, Paris phoned in for cupcakes and had them delivered.


The most exciting moment was about 10:30 a.m. when a Mrs. Beasley's Gourmet Cupcakes van pulled up and Anthony Crisafulli delivered three containers of the treats to the house.

"She hasn't eaten well while she's been away," Crisafulli said, noting that Hilton had called the Beverly Hills store this morning. She is a regular customer, he said, noting her favorite cupcakes are strawberry and mocha.


Original Post

The L.A. Sheriff's today held a press conference to announce that Paris Hilton has been released from jail to serve the rest of her sentence under house arrest due to a medical condition they wouldn't discuss. She will now serve the full 45 days on house arrest.

If I had to guess, I'd say she went on a hunger strike, refusing to eat the food and they were afraid of medical repercussions. But, that's just a guess.

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    Justice for All, A Little More Liberty for Some (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Aaron on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 10:16:08 AM EST
    Doesn't take much reading between the lines to deduce that the Hilton family used every ounce of influence they've got, and pulled every string they could to get their little girl out of jail.  Hey, I would do the same thing if it was my daughter, jail sucks.

    Now Princess Paris will be confined to her 400,000 ft.² palace for the remainder of her "sentence".  How awful for her, being waited on hand and foot by servants, friends and family catering to your every whim, will she survive these trials and tribulations?

    Yet more evidence that we are not a nation of laws, at least for some, we're a nation that makes exceptions for those with power and money, and if you can acquire the kind of wealth and power which the Hilton family has, your life will be far easier than the rest of us.  You can break the law again and again and unless you kill someone, and there's videotape evidence to prove it was you, you'll probably walk.

    This is the American dream, to have the burden of of lifeless responsibilities lifted, and be free to live a shallow existence of decadence and debauchery with very little need to concern yourself with consequence.  I'm sure Paris' parents are very proud of her.

    Scooter (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 10:27:26 AM EST
    might take a lesson from her.

    It's not about politics but money... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 10:36:58 AM EST
    There are countless examples of "rich" people getting off no matter their political prefrence.

    No reason to drag Scooter into this matter he has plenty of threads on this site.

    Paris could be a liberal crazy or a righty crazy it doesn't matter becasue she's rich and her parents used that to get her out of jail and the Sherrif's department didn't need the hassle.

    What I want to know is why do they have the power to send her home?   Why isn't a judge consulted?   What's the law on this?


    This (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 10:48:10 AM EST
    What I want to know is why do they have the power to send [him] home?

    Is exactly why I bring up scooter.


    According to the spokesman on CNN... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Aaron on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 11:27:05 AM EST
    ...the judge who sentenced her was consulted, but apparently this was a medical decision made primarily by the medical staff at the jail.

    I'm sure they'll be getting free vouchers to stay at Hilton Hotels for the rest of their lives.  :-)


    A Rash (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Aaron on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 11:31:01 AM EST
    CNN is now saying that she had a rash, and that's what got her out of jail, I'll bet she had a rash, I've seen a few videos of her with some friction rashes.  :-)

    No doubt caused by a pea under her mattress (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by rdandrea on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 12:17:49 PM EST

    A Wrinkled One (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 12:28:15 PM EST
    No doubt.

    A rash (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Edger on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 12:48:44 PM EST
    of family lawyers. With briefcases full of cash.

    With due respect to all the :real: (none / 0) (#25)
    by Edger on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 12:50:22 PM EST
    principled lawyers in the world, btw..

    Message (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Al on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 10:51:30 AM EST
    Driving while drunk and continuing to drive after you license has been suspended is a completely trivial matter.

    The message I see... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 11:11:51 AM EST
    is, quite simply, have money.

    Driving with a suspended license is a trivial matter.


    Oh crap, there goes my livelyhood! (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Freewill on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 11:10:18 AM EST
    Now I'm going to be out of a job!

    All the prisoners will stop eating just because they have seen Paris successfully demonstrating this manipulation tactic and regaining her freedom! Some of the more confused inmates might try the "I'm so cold and they only gave me 3 blankets and I have to use one as a pillow" tactic but they would be pursuing the wrong course because that's the wrong type of medical ailment, Physical Cold vs. Viral Cold.

    Wow, this is something really scary when one of the largest detention facilities doesn't know how to handle one of the most basic tactics employed by those who try to manipulate justice. I can see a huge hunger strike at that facility in its near future. But on the brighter side, they will save millions on food costs!

    If anyone else tried it ... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Dr Zaius on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 11:46:12 AM EST
    especially a person of color, she would just get a rifle butt to the head.

    I think (none / 0) (#19)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 12:23:05 PM EST
    she is pink, surely a color.

    Hunger Strike? Or Withdrawal? (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jerry on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 11:34:11 AM EST
    On Stephanie Miller there was speculation it was withdrawal, but I think panic attack is equally likely.

    Call me cruel, but I think it's a crock she was let out early and not just incarcerated at a jail hospital.  What would they do to prisoners with similar medical problems?  Send them home?

    Caucasian, female, young: (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 12:48:35 PM EST
    early release.  The jail, of course, has medical treatment on site.  This sends an extremely poor signal to the minority communities.  Equal protection--hah.

    The prison industry (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by manys on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 01:48:08 PM EST
    Don't be such a cynic, this is a testament to the top-notch mental health care received by prisoners all across the nation.

    Which part did you think was cynical? (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 06:58:05 PM EST
    Detention and prison facilities are required to provide medical and mental health care.  At least in California, a state inmate has access to medical care at the clinic on his housing yard just by walking up to a window or by asking his or her housing facility correctional officer.  Not saying it is perfect, but it is more easily available than my HMO.  

    Medical care in prisons varies over a very wide (none / 0) (#49)
    by JSN on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 08:17:48 PM EST
    range from essentially absent to adequate at the most basic level.
    If a prisoner has a serious medical issue they are transported to a hospital and kept under guard while they are there. The DOJ has a report that compares deaths in custody for prisons (an indication of the level of medical care) but for some reason the most recent data has not been published.

    A small jail cannot afford to provide medical care our jail has a clinic twice a week provided by physicians assistants and 24 x 7 telephone consultation with a local emergency room. We had one jail inmate use $60,000 in medication and the sheriff had to get a budget supplement to purchase medication to finish the fiscal year. One of the jail staff has filled the vacuum and is the main person for medical issues (fortunately she is very good).

    Even though the Los Angles County jail claims to be the largest jail in the free world I would not think of going there for medical services.


    Paris... Honey... (none / 0) (#8)
    by desertswine on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 11:26:14 AM EST
    Don't listen to these other jamokes. I'll be there for you.

    Call me.

    Hey Desertswine (none / 0) (#13)
    by Freewill on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 11:35:05 AM EST
    are you now going to be out of a job looking for a way to support your family because of her finicky eating habits? Probably not!

    Paris, I'm so there for you poor girl!

    Call me and don't pay any attention to Desertswine, I'll give you DesertsRumCake (mmm, intoxicatingly rich and moist)!


    good luck with that (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jen M on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 11:35:55 AM EST

    We had a hunger strike in our jail (none / 0) (#10)
    by JSN on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 11:28:16 AM EST
    and they offered him a pizza and he ate it (end of hunger strike).

    Walter Gormley (an old time war tax protester) was made of sterner stuff and every time they put him in jail he would start a hunger strike and the judge concluded that he could either release Walter or watch him die of starvation.

    Walter then married and his wife put a stop to the war tax protesting.

    In the Hilton case it may not have been a hunger strike because they said it was an unspecified medical condition. Under HIPPA rules that is about all they can say.

    I believe the TMZ story about the (none / 0) (#17)
    by Freewill on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 11:46:48 AM EST
    Free Paris Rally which was entitled "Free Paris Protest Fizzles Big Time" was completely short-sided and absolutely wrong about the influence each and everyone of us has inside us to change the wrong doings in America!

    These three participants in the Free Paris Rally can now claim victory for their dedicated support of Paris!

    W/o question money helps - a lot - (none / 0) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 12:32:48 PM EST
    in our society and in our criminal justice system. And I don't doubt that the color of your skin can help, or hurt, depending on the situation. However, poor people of color are not devoid of special consideration.

    Fwiw, the guy I mentioned in this post on a previous Paris thread, is a Mexican immigrant and lives on social security.

    He got 30-something days in LA County for a hit and run, and was released after 3, to house arrest.

    However, his house arrest had a waiver or something that allowed him to leave his house to go to work.

    So, his son, who owned the biz next to mine, immediately put his dad on his co's payroll and his dad spent his "house arrest" days at his son's office.

    Assuming Paris has the same waiver, look for her to spend time "working" at her florida nightclub.

    I wonder if her dad has her on the hotel payroll? If so, just about the entire world could be her "house arrest" oyster...

    Work release and home detention (house arrest) (none / 0) (#26)
    by JSN on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 12:54:23 PM EST
    are not the same. All we know is she is on a monitor under house arrest she may have also been granted work release but they did not say one way or the other.

    It appear they have a two-for-one rule in that two days of house arrest is equivalent to one day in jail. She probably has to pay the cost of EM as well but for her that would not be a big issue. However some low-income folks decide serve their sentence in jail because the cost of EM is too high.


    JSN (none / 0) (#27)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 12:58:12 PM EST
    Thanks for the clarity on house arrest v work release.

    From what I heard on the radio, it's not 2 for 1, it's that she will do the entirety of her original sentence. She's done 5 in County so she has 40 left, I think, for house arrest...


    JSN is correct (none / 0) (#30)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 01:20:01 PM EST
    there is no good time off for house arrest.  She got 5 days credit because she checked in on Sunday and out on Thursday.  So she owes them 40 more days.

    She isn't on work release. That would require her to go to work and back to the jail to sleep.


    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#31)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 01:27:32 PM EST
    Is the situation I described about my next-door neighbor's dad something you've heard of before? ie., house arrest, but can leave the home to go to work?

    Or did I maybe not get the straight story from his son?


    house arrest (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 01:49:42 PM EST
    usually allows people to leave to go to work. Even Martha Stewart was allowed to do that. You can also go to the doctor, etc, and sometimes to buy groceries, but you need permission from the person supervising your monitoring first.

    Thanks, (none / 0) (#36)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 01:54:45 PM EST
    that sounds exactly like what his son described to me.

    btw, I think you meant to say (none / 0) (#32)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 01:30:10 PM EST
    "SUO is correct there is no good time off for house arrest."

    Heck, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while!


    Home detention and work release can be (none / 0) (#35)
    by JSN on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 01:53:48 PM EST
    combined. For that to work well the jail has to be very selective about who they place on EM.

    If a GPS monitor is used the person is monitored at work as well as at home. The GPS monitors used at present are not a mature technology IMHO but I think that in a few years that will have changed.  

    Voice recognition monitoring on the surface appears to be a good option but it does not seem to be used much. The most obvious drawback is that it is not real time.

    Many of the jails I have visited buy their food from SYSCO a common source of high school cafeteria food. It is not that bad but I bet it could become very boring. My sheriff tells me that most of the complaints are about quantity not quality.


    I should make it clear (none / 0) (#37)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 01:56:05 PM EST
    I'm talking about a sentence by the court to work release, not a sentence to electronic monitoring (house arrest) the conditions of which may be set to allow people to go to work from home.  They are different things.

    Jeralyn please... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Aaron on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 01:07:51 PM EST
    ... tell us the actual station and show on the BBC where you'll be, because the link you posted doesn't tell us, and there are like 50 stations on the BCC and hundreds of shows.

    Okay, (none / 0) (#29)
    by Aaron on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 01:11:21 PM EST
    If it's on the standard world service I think I found it.

    You can still listen to segment here (none / 0) (#42)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 04:11:13 PM EST
    segment recorded here.  Just click the advance button to about 40 minutes in.

    The sanction does depend on celebrity status. (none / 0) (#46)
    by JSN on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 05:02:06 PM EST
    A county attorney normally will not plea bargain in a high profile case. About 85% to 95% of all criminal cases are settled by plea bargaining.

    The judge is aware of local sentiment when they sentence and there are several recent studies that show that a judge is more likely to sentence someone to prison in a rural county than they would in an urban county in the same judicial district.

    It is not uncommon for a judge to tell the offender when they are sentenced "If there were room in the jail that is where you would be." They are not kidding our jail has overflowed and it is unheard of for some to be sentenced to jail for a simple misdemeanor. The very same judge will sentence someone to jail on a simple misdemeanor two counties away because the have room in their jail.

    The so-call criminal justice system is malfunctioning (it is not broken because that would not be tolerated). I think it should be called the Criminal Justice/Injustice Confederacy (a set of independent agencies with a common set of clients). It never has been a system that was designed to work efficiently.


    listening to the Beeb, I missed you, but (none / 0) (#38)
    by scribe on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 02:21:54 PM EST
    their hoourly news update at 3 PM ET noted they'd received over a thousand calls (the majority critical of the release) in the course of the ninety-minute program on which you appeared.

    for what it's worth.

    There's a bigger problem here (none / 0) (#39)
    by nolo on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 03:33:56 PM EST
    and it's what this episode has done to the perception of fairness in the justice system.  Whether or not Paris' original sentence was perhaps a bit harsher than it would have been if she weren't such a high-profile bad girl (and I think this may be true, but not to such a degree as to shock the conscience when you consider her apparently cavalier attitude leading up to the sentencing), what we have now is a situation in which it appears there are two kinds of justice -- the justice rich people get, and the justice everyone else gets.  When an idea like that gets hold of the popular consciousness, you can say goodbye to any respect for the justice system.

    When? (none / 0) (#40)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 03:52:25 PM EST
    When an idea like that gets hold of the popular consciousness

    I thought that it already had taken hold of long ago.  


    Exactly squeaky.... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 04:12:24 PM EST
    Where you been nolo?  

    oh I know it's real (none / 0) (#45)
    by nolo on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 04:48:03 PM EST
    It seldom smacks folks in the face (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by nolo on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 04:47:20 PM EST
    quite like this.  Combine it with the fact that we're watching yet another frenzy of dead white girl coverage (and by saying this I mean no disrespect to the girl or her grieving family, nor do I mean to minimize the crime), and you've got a recipe for cynicism thick enough to spread on a Ritz cracker.

    Al Sharpton is calling for an investigation (none / 0) (#41)
    by Aaron on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 03:55:41 PM EST
    Citing the thousands of inmates who have medical conditions but are not released from jail as a result of said condition.

    I think he has a valid point, and I'd like to find out exactly why she was released, and how many other inmates have cited the exact same condition, and been refused release.

    the majesty of the law (none / 0) (#47)
    by Sumner on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 05:28:07 PM EST
    I have a new-found respect for Paris Hilton. She maintained her composure despite the degradation heaped upon her by Sarah Silverman and an audience that turned on her viciously like a pack of wild dogs, the mob far more wicked, than whatever her sin was.

    Her high visibility was a double-edged sword. It worked against her by setting an example of her. And when she broke down under the pressure, what would have been gained by her demise in jail?

    I have a new-found respect for Sheriff Lee Baca. He had pledged that Ms. Hilton would spend her full sentence in jail. He had to eat his words and her release spotlights the severity of incarceration on people in general.

    Who can even begin to imagine the stress from über celebrity and the constant white-hot spotlight? And then a fall from grace? To become a social pariah in ignominy with people clamoring for actual harm to befall you?

    I was dubious that Paris Hilton's nervous system was equipped to handle the stress at all. She managed for days before her breakdown.

    It remains to be seen how much damage is done to her psyche. It is doubtful she will ever again be the quite the free spirit she once was. She will be wearing an animal tracking device for over a month to come.

    It remains to be seen whether or not she will easily recover her will to eat or live, now back in her familiar surroundings and the support of her family.

    She has hardly calculated this, nor pulled a "fast one". Her reconfinement to home is not due simply to "privilege". I worry about all our humanity.

    I worry about our humanity too.... (none / 0) (#50)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 07:02:00 AM EST
    And from the beggining I said she shouldn't be locked up.

    Yet it's hard to feel pity for someone suffering from the side effects of uber-celebrity when said person chose to chase down uber-celebrity status.

    She could have lived a quiet care-free trust fund life, but she wanted to be famous.  This is what we do to stars, prop 'em up and rip 'em down.  This is no surprise.  Why anyone would choose to be famous is beyond me.