Traveling the Globe With Probationer Paris Hilton

Update: Paris has left Japan.


Do celebrities get harsher treatment than others? With respect to Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, it seems that way to me.

The ink wasn't even dry on Paris Hilton's plea and sentencing documents when she flew from Las Vegas to Tokyo for legitimate and lucrative business reasons. Yet she was denied entry into Japan and told to wait at an airport hotel. She's now been asked to wait another day, while Japanese officials make up their mind whether to allow her entry. The two reasons I've seen given: They don't allow people on probation or people with drug offenses to visit Japan.


Fine, but other than the news media, how would Japan have known? It's quite unlikely the State Department notified Japan or even put an electronic note in her passport file. I doubt her plea and sentence were even entered in NCIC or criminal law enforcement databases by the time she reached Japan, and even with our government's obsession with sharing of law enforcement data, I doubt the policy extends to sharing it with Japan.

It's laughable to think the State Department cared enough about Paris Hilton to notify Japan she had been placed on unsupervised misdemeanor probation. So what gives? Some immigration officer in Japan saw it on the news and got star-struck and decided to detain her? Sounds like it.

Next up for Paris: Jakarta, where she's visiting seven of her stores, launching her fall line an opening a new store. It's a big deal there. The Grand Indonesia Mall held a Twitter contest and three winners get lunch with Paris at a benefit for the Children’s Oncology Foundation. At $240 US for a ticket, the event is sold out.

Paris designs and sells purses and accessories, perfumes, shoes and more that are manufactured and sold in many Asian countries as well as the U.S. If her businesses go kaput, so do a lot of jobs. What possible public policy is served by denying someone on misdemeanor probation the opportunity to conduct a legitimate business? If governments prevent people from engaging in lawful business activity, what's left? Criminal activity. Another lesson in how government (and this time not ours) can be stupid about crime.

As I wrote last week when the news reported her plea deal which requires her to serve a year in jail if she's even arrested for a crime in the next 12 months (no conviction required), Paris needs to step up her fleet of body guards and make sure no one gets the opportunity to set her up by planting something on her in exchange for their 15 minutes of fame. After using the excuse "it's not mine" twice in the last year, once in South Africa and once in Vegas, she'd be like the little girl who cried wolf that no one believes. And it would mean a year in the Vegas pokey.

Not to mention, if it happens in Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur .....

If Paris Hilton was not famous, her legal problems would be far less severe. No way would the average person charged with a gram of cocaine have been made to plead to two misdemeanors and agree to 12 months in jail in the event of a future arrest without a conviction. Nor would she have a target on her back.

And, maybe the media would stop referring to her solely as a socialite, and mention the fact that she's also a successful businesswoman. Even if her business is primarily based on marketing herself, she's both supporting herself and providing jobs in a variety of industries, from manufacturing to sales to transportation (limo drivers), fashion and beauty (personal stylists), security (body guards), media production (reality tv shows), public relations and law (contracts and criminal.)

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    I'm not so sure that Hilton would (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 07:06:29 AM EST
    have gotten off easier had she not been famous; if she had been like so many who get arrested for this kind of offense, she would have qualified for a public defender - not a high-priced criminal defense attorney - would probably have been subject to bail requirements she would not have been able to meet, and would not have gotten the speedy resolution to her case that allowed her to pick up her schedule where she left off.

    The flip side of "she got treated more harshly because she's famous" is "she thought being famous would get her special treatment;" what's still true today, regardless of whether one thinks the laws are too harsh, is that actions have consequences and we don't always control what those consequences are.

    Given the laws, given that some of these countries she's doing business in do not look kindly upon drug offenders, given that she probably has the benefit of expert legal advice in all areas of her life, given that she's put a target on herself by her past actions, it's hard to understand why she continues to do the very things that got her in trouble in the first place - and harder still to work up a whole lot of sympathy for her as a result.

    Yes, the laws need changing, but that doesn't give anyone - even Paris Hilton - the right to ignore or defy them with any expectation of no adverse consequences - that she continues to walk around with drugs in her purse, even after more than one run-in with the law, just makes her look, well, kind of stupid.

    You can do your best to cast Hilton as the  Businesswoman of the Year, but Hilton has, by her past and current actions, managed to create an altogether less flattering persona for herself.

    I'd imagine... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 08:30:50 AM EST
    it is the same reason I continue to do the things that might get me in trouble...it is my inalienable god-given right to do "those things".

    The law is the law, yes...but what is right is right too...I can look in the mirror no worries, I don't know how lawmakers and their mercs can look in the mirror, I really don't.


    And that's fine - I'm not suggesting (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 08:59:24 AM EST
    that people don't have the right to do as they please, and I'm not suggesting that the existing laws are fair or make sense.

    What I am suggesting is that people still need to understand that the choices they make may have adverse consequences - and when people knowingly make choices that have already gotten them before the courts, and put them on notice - perhaps, especially, those who are already in the media spotlight and who don't have as much ability to fly under the radar - I think they have the obligation to accept responsibility for whatever happens.


    The victims of tyranny... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 09:16:14 AM EST
    have no choice but to accept the consequences of the government's actions...yeah.  Focusing all responsibility on the victim ain't kosher though...I see it as being similar to asking a victim of spousal abuse to accept responsibility for setting off their abusive spouse...I mean only one side is committing acts of violence here Anne, and that is the state.  Paris didn't do anything to anybody.  When is the system held responsible?  

    Just like we're seeing in the economy...responsibility only seems to be applied to the little people...the drug war is the too big to fail or take responsibility here, just like Goldman Sachs...only more harmful.


    I'm sorry - it's nothing at all like (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 09:50:42 AM EST
    asking a beating victim to accept responsibility for setting off the abuser, and I think it's irresponsible to make that comparison.

    I know you see "the law" as making victims of all of us, that you would be happy living in a world where anything goes, as long as no one gets hurt.  I'd venture to say that the majority of people actually do live like that - they do what they want, they don't hurt anyone, and whatever they are doing that is outside the technical boundaries of the law, they don't get caught, so no harm, no foul.

    You and I both know that a tremendous amount of illegal activity is the result of poverty and lack of education, with those who are poor and who lack education and any semblance of positive family life turning to the only thing they see as a viable way to get by, while those with money and power not only take advantage of that, but manage, time and again, to avoid responsibility for their role in the whole mess.

    Changing the law would keep people out of the courts, out of jail, out of prison, but would it eliminate poverty, would it expand educational opportunities, would it put food on the table and keep families together?  Would it stop the killings, disband the gangs, make it safe for people to move about the streets - because in some areas, this is a real problem.

    Or does that not matter to you as long as John Law doesn't have his boot on anyone's neck?

    I think it should be obvious that years of people thumbing their noses at the law hasn't done anything to change those laws.  Organized and focused efforts to educate legislators and the community about marijuana laws is beginning to make a difference, and I think those efforts should continue, but I wouldn't expect any movement when it comes to cocaine and heroin, for example.  

    People who choose to break laws that they are well aware of are not victims, kdog, but I know there is no convincing you of that.


    Look at it objectively Anne... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 10:17:33 AM EST
    forget the propaganda we've been fed all our lives.  One person has a white powder in her purse, another person takes it from her and places chains on her wrists, then puts her in cage, then puts her on probation, denying her right to free travel and other rights.  Who is the aggressor?  Who is the bad actor?  Who is violent?  Who is causing unnecessary problems?  The answer is obvious.

    The drug war is but an extension of the class war...it's hard to feed your kids when you're locked up or have a record.  There's a lost generation of poor & disenfranchised people being warehoused in our prisons, cuz that's easier than educating and employing everybody, and CCA can get rich warehousing the human beings.  It's so f*cked up, and to see socially conscious people blame the victim is disheartening.  I think my comparison is more spot on than you care to admit...blaming the victim is blaming the victim.  

    Not all law, but some (if not most) of it, is nothing more than a violent means of control to continue serving the Wachovias & CCA's of the world.


    Think of it this way... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 10:37:16 AM EST
    I knew "the rule" when I was thrown on the hood of an automobile and sexually assaulted, and the abused spouse knew their abuser's "rules" when they got slapped around.

    I ask, who should take responsibility for what in those instances?  It's my fault I was born into insanity?  It's the abused spouse's fault cuz they said "I do"?  Bullsh*t I say...violent people are responsible for their violence.


    I think it's sad that you equate (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:44:21 AM EST
    a spouse-beater with the law, that you equate the abusing spouse's "rules" for when he - or she - "is allowed" to beat up on someone, with defined laws that are written for all of us.  That some poor woman looked at her husband the "wrong" way, and got her face beaten for it, is not the same as being arrested for breaking the law.

    Are you going to argue that when the police arrest the man who beat his wife, that he is also being victimized?  That putting the cuffs on him, putting him in a cage and restricting his ability to keep beating on his wife is also a violent act that he should not have to be subjected to?

    I understand - or think I do - that the dividing line for you is when some sort of harm is inflicted by someone who breaks the law - when someone gets hurt in some way, that's wrong.  I get that the mere possession of a controlled substance could be considered a victimless crime - at least at the level where Paris had the coke in her purse.  Who is she hurting?  

    And I know the law - the police - are not angels, and I don't excuse or condone that behavior.  Clearly, you have had some experiences that have affected your views, and all I can say is that I'm sorry for whatever happened to you.

    Paris Hilton is a victim of nothing more than her own bad judgment; she needs to get a clue.

    Meanwhile, she isn't being a voice for sensible drug laws, and neither are you - and I suspect for the same reason: being publicly and openly an advocate would subject you to more scrutiny than you would be comfortable with...


    That was wee bit condescedning, Anne (2.00 / 1) (#41)
    by MKS on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:03:47 PM EST
    You say:

    Meanwhile, she isn't being a voice for sensible drug laws, and neither are you - and I suspect for the same reason: being publicly and openly an advocate would subject you to more scrutiny than you would be comfortable with...

    "and neither are you"??   And how do you know what he would be comfortable with....What a snotty taunt....


    In fairness (none / 0) (#44)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:10:27 PM EST
    he did start out by trivializing spousal abuse- after that its a bit hard to take him as a serious advocate for reform.

    Was not trivializing... (none / 0) (#61)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:58:53 PM EST
    spousal abuse in the least...just trying to prove a point to my pal Anne...abused spouses don't "ask for it" by getting married, abused citizens don't "ask for it" by being born.

    If anything, the abuse of the citizenry that is the drug war is what is being trivialized here.


    Oh, for the love of God... (none / 0) (#74)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:48:28 PM EST
    are you not familiar with kdog's comments on this subject?  Can you find me anywhere where he has ever indicated involvement in changing the drug laws?  

    I can't be the only one who thinks that the reason more people aren't willing to publicly - as opposed to via anonymous blog comments - advocate for changes to the laws is their fear that it makes them a target of law enforcement.

    I have the utmost respect for Jeralyn's activism on this subject - she puts her money where her mouth is - so just can it with the condescension crap, please.


    We're never gonna get each other.... (none / 0) (#36)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:56:43 AM EST
    agree to diagree.

    It is sad to be abused, and no one should have to suffer abuse...at least we agree on that.

    Maybe one needs to go through a form of legal abuse without just cause to really understand where I'm coming from...and I hope you never do get abused by the law being upheld, as I hope any part of your life that you enjoy, that harms no one, is not criminalized in the future.  


    Do You Realize How... (none / 0) (#21)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 10:49:16 AM EST
    ... much is a gram ?  Maybe a qtips worth.  I am pretty sure the smallest pill you could find weighs less than a gram.

    In my opinion, legalizing it would have the same consequences of repealing the 18th Amendment.  Not too many gangs running liquor or using machine guns to eliminate their rivals, which in the case of liquor is other liquor stores and mini-marts.

    The problem is that she may known the consequences in Nevada, which she has dealt with, but this is following her around the world and expecting someone to know the consequences worldwide for a minuscule amount of any substance, that she never actually took with her, is overreaching to say the least.  It's hard enough to even know the consequences from state to state, they aren't static, they evolve nearly daily.  See marijuana.

    Unless there is some sort of database or website that a person can go to and type in the crime and location, and it will print out a list of expected consequences worldwide, your argument is seriously flawed.  Even the best legal minds money can buy couldn't predict this non-sense.

    A prime example was my recent trip from Houston to Seattle and Class 2 prescriptive drugs I had to bring because of an injury.  I pain killers, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatories.  I sure as hell wasn't lugging 3 bottles, so I put them all in one, the Class 2 bottle.  I flew there and we road tripped through the mountains, the peninsula, and then a ferry into Canada. What would be the consequences of me not having every prescription bottle ?  Right, I was legal, but it could gotten ugly and although I would have never been found guilty, it might have cost me a lot of coin in attorney fees and travel.

    Where should I gave gone to look up the consequences, TSA, Washington State, Texas, Canadian whatever ?  In 10 days, I am sure I was in at least 25 differnet jurisdictions, not including the countless reservations, state and national parks we drove through. Who governs international ferry travel ?

    It's insane to put your consequences theory into real world applications.


    "Lugging" three bottles? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:40:11 AM EST
    What, were they in gallon-sized containers?

    What's "insane" is that you knew when you made the decision to consolidate your medications that maybe this wasn't the smartest thing to do. But you took your chances, as I'm sure many people also do on a regular basis.

    I'm sorry, but "how am I supposed to keep track of all the laws so I can carry drugs legally, or with the least consequence if I get caught?" is just really lame.


    Just back off people's medications (none / 0) (#33)
    by MKS on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:54:35 AM EST
    Anne, you sound like an apologist for the drug laws....

    What a warped society that valid medications carry such risk....

    When did it become a crime to be irresponsible?  What authoritarian nonsense is that?

    Sure, there are practical reasons to follow laws like the drug laws, but I find it often stupid, usually hypocritical, and almost always counterproductive....


    You're having comprehension problems (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:21:54 PM EST

    I didn't single out the issue, I was responding to someone else's story about what he did with his own medications.

    I grew up in the days when a kid could have a freeakin' aspirin on them and not be expelled from school.  And I always had aspirin or Tylenol on me because I had migraines - today, one has to jump through all kinds of hoops just to be able to take a cough drop.  It's insane.  

    So, before you once again take me to task for an opinion I have not expressed, try reading a little more carefully - as in all the words.  I know you don't care for me or my opinions - that's clear - but you are falling into a trap others get caught in - that of thinking that someone is always going to be wrong before considering the totality of their comments.


    Still (none / 0) (#51)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:27:08 PM EST
    Anne, you sound like an apologist for the drug laws....

    despite your complaints and feelings to the contrary, you do sound like an apologist for the drug laws.


    Not for nothing Anne... (none / 0) (#64)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:01:41 PM EST
    you kinda do the same thing to me...criticizing some laws becomes advocating for all-out anarchy.

    We all do it, myself included...a pitfall of the debate medium perhaps.


    kdog, I'm sorry that you feel I've judged (none / 0) (#80)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 02:01:53 PM EST
    you too harshly; I know I have asked whether there are any laws you think we should have, and that's probably why you feel that from me.

    In my defense - if I'm allowed one - I'm going off the fact that seldom - if ever - is there mention of someone's interaction with law enforcement that you are not wondering why that person couldn't have been given a break - and I'm not just talking about drug and alcohol arrests, either.

    Maybe you needed someone to do that for you at some point, and it didn't happen; I completely get that.

    I think there is way too much time and money spent on punishment, and not enough spent on improving the conditions of people's lives and equipping them to function well in an increasingly dysfunctional world so that they don't end up in the system in the first place.  And while I can appreciate the "whys" of the things people do, it isn't always possible to ignore their acts when they affect other people in an adverse way; I can have compassion for what drives people to commit crimes, but compassion is cheap, isn't it?

    I don't know what the answer is, kdog - I wish I did.


    I can be as knee-jerk... (none / 0) (#87)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 02:46:26 PM EST
    as they come my friend...I've got my prejudices like everybody else, and they are anti-authority prejudices...working on it, but its a constant internal struggle:)  

    My old man was done very dirty, I've been done kinda dirty, my brothers, most of my friends, countless others in the newspapers of America every day, and now Paris has been done dirty...it's a pattern.

    I've been assaulted and robbed by Joe Blow...that I shrug off pretty easy...people suck.  But when a faceless authority does it, when the system reeks to high heaven, when the people paid by us to serve and protect and legislate are the ones commiting violent acts against you, it's a whole different ballgame...this I can't shrug off as easily as a cost of living on planet earth like I can the threat of being robbed, raped, murdered by some random dirtbag.  I know the law, yes...but I cannot in good conscience obey it.  If you think that means I, or Paris, or anybody in our shoes deserve what may come at the hands of the state, fair enough...but I could not disagree more. There is right and wrong, and there are stupid bills signed into law by crooked sons of b*tches.


    The oppresive power of the state (none / 0) (#91)
    by MKS on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 03:59:22 PM EST
    The state can put almost anyone it wants in jail.  It can overcharge, wrongfully charge relatives, and overcome almost anyone.

    The prosecutorial abuse against Samueli and Nicholas led to the dismissal of charges against them.  They had threatend the 13 year old son of one of them if they did not plead guilty.  And they were multi-millionaires.  If it can happen to them, then.....

    The state will devote unlimited resources if it so desires.  Who among us can match that?

    So, I agree the more fearsome worry is an oppressive state.  What about thugs, et. al.?  Jeralyn's advocacy of the Second Amendment does give a thought.  Beyond just making sure all of the Bill of Rights are protected, a viable Second Amendment as a personal right could (maybe, possibly) be a good remedy in lieu of too many cops....

    Street Justice avoids being crushed by the  state.  Just like the Old West....

    Not ideal, but one wonders....  


    that is nonsense (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by nyjets on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 05:22:50 PM EST
    "Street Justice avoids being crushed by the  state.  Just like the Old West...."

    Street justice is not justice. There is no control or safety checks. In street justice, the innocent are MUCH more likly to be punished than the innocent. Street justice should never be tolerated.


    Control or safety checks (none / 0) (#97)
    by MKS on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 07:07:08 PM EST
    Uh-huh.  What system are you speaking of?

    Old West:  Clearly not something that will happen....But one can dream....  


    so you dream (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by nyjets on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 05:12:03 AM EST
    So you dream where a person can take the law in their own hand with impunity. Where the innocent are more likely to be hurt and killed than the guilty.Where anarchy and mob rule (which is what street justice or wild west justice is). I am sorry, our current system has its problems but it has more checks than 'street justice.'

    Who checks the prosecutors? (none / 0) (#106)
    by MKS on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 11:52:00 AM EST
    They answer to no one.  They have complete immunity....

    And cops?  Not much of a check on them in reality either.

    J.E.T.S, Jets, Jets, Jets....And you know about the Old West?


    actually there is (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by nyjets on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 12:53:19 PM EST
    There is a lot more checks on police and prosectors then there would be in 'street justice.' There are system in place to at least prevent prosectors and police in overstepping. Does it always work. No. IT does need to be improved. BUt it is better than street justice where the odd are MUCH more likly that innocent people will be terrorized and killed.

    And you were the one who said that the wild west used street justice. That would not surprize me because the wild west was mostly anarchy anyway.


    There are no checks (none / 0) (#109)
    by MKS on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 02:20:29 PM EST
    Ridiculous (none / 0) (#110)
    by Yman on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 04:31:25 PM EST
    Of course there are.  Do they always work?  As nyjets acknowledged ... no.  Is the system perfect?  Of course not.  But suggesting that there are no checks in our justice system, or that a "wild west/"street" system of justice where people administer their own justice is a preferable system is just too silly for words.

    Checks on prosecutors (none / 0) (#112)
    by MKS on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 06:10:30 PM EST
    --individually....Not checks in the system such as a defendant's right of appeal.

    If a prosecutor acts improperly, sure the case could be dismissed and the defendant go free.  But the prosecutor just collects his paycheck and continues on.

    You cannot sue a prosecutor for any malicious actions; and there is no criminal prosecution either.  There is a theoretical risk of court sanctions or disbarment--but that would be very, very rare.

    And prosecutors don't get fired.

    Civil attorneys face being fired by the client, not getting paid by the client, getting fired by their lawfirm, getting sanctioned by the court (which happens frequently), discipliniary action by the state bar (which happens all the time) or being sued by the other side for malicious prosecution.  A prosecutor faces none of that.

    With respect to rogue cops, in reality they are almost untouchable.  Even if you have a videotape, the refrain just doing a tough job is usually enough.

    Not much personal accountability--I'd assert none for prosecutors--as that is what the California immunity statute provides, and none in reality for cops because everyone just makes their excuses.....

    Care to address that issue?  


    There are numerous CHECKS ... (none / 0) (#114)
    by Yman on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 06:58:52 PM EST
    ... on prosecutorial and police misconduct - everything from defense counsel to judges, media, disciplinary boards, citizen's groups, etc.  Personal accountability is a different issue, although I understand why you would want to narrow the focus.

    In either case, an imperfect system that relies on police officers, prosecutors, judges and juries affords far more protection to those wrongfully (and rightly) accused of a crime than a "wild west" system where people simply carry guns and administer their own version of "street justice".  Although you're probably right in one respect ... probably a lot less prosecutorial misconduct, ...

    ... since there would be fewer trials.


    Citizen groups? (none / 0) (#118)
    by MKS on Sat Sep 25, 2010 at 12:14:47 PM EST
    Disciplinary boards?  Not for prosecutorial misconduct.  What world do you live in?

    Citizen Groups who back the police, sure, there are a lot of those.   Disciplinary boards to monitor the police.   Perhaps in theory but not really.

    Our society reflexively supports the police and prosecutors.  When was the last time you heard of a prosecutor being disciplined by the State Bar?  Or disbarred?  Ever?  Or even fired?

    In the real world, there is no personal accountability for cops and prosecutors. And, yes, personal accountability matters--otherwise the misconduct continues.  Sometimes, and it is relatively rare, defendants are freed or dismissed, such as Samueli and Nicholas but they are very, very rich.

    Most of the time prosecutors and cops are rewarded for their improper conduct.  Just doing a tough job.

    And, if you are going to toss off a fictional character as part of your argument, you may want to get the players straight.  Dirty Harry was a cop--and a basis for the cops do no wrong attitude that currently prevails.  That cops should not be subject to the rules....That civil rights are stupid.  


    Not for anything (none / 0) (#119)
    by nyjets on Sat Sep 25, 2010 at 10:37:35 PM EST
    There have been cases where cops have been prosecuted for misconduct. Not enough I grant you but it does happen.
    And while prosectors have impunity,there have been numerous cases where cases have been reversed because of prosector misconduct.
    None of these checks exist in mob rule or 'wild west justice.' Again the odds of innocent people being terrorized are MUCH higher in mob rule compared to our current system.

    The real world (none / 0) (#123)
    by Yman on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 12:49:59 PM EST
    Read it again.  I didn't say the disciplinary board was for prosecutorial misconduct.  In some states, prosecutors are granted immunity from criminal prosecution for prosecutorial misconduct, but in many states it is not absolute.  Not often enough, but it does happen, and it's been discussed here at TL.  The police have some degree of immunity, although not nearly the level of prosecutors.  There are not large numbers of prosecutions or firings/discipline of either group, but there is personal accountability for both groups.  Based on the last annual report of the most preeminent civil rights group tracking police misconduct, "When examining reports by last reported status, 45.9% had resulted in some sort of adverse outcome for the officers involved. Of those, 14% (596) were disciplined internally and 31.9% (1,363) were criminally charged."  BTW - Most people have "heard of" Mike Nifong.

    "That cops should not be subject to the rules....That civil rights are stupid."

    Not sure where you're getting that from, but I've actually done a lot of work in the area of civil rights.  Just because someone believes the present system utilizing police and prosecutors is better than vigilante justice does not make them part of some group that believes that police should be permitted to abuse with impunity or that civil rights are "unimportant".

    But once again, you try to limit the "checks and balances" argument to one of personal accountability for cops and prosecutors, rather than the original discussion, which was whether our present system has more safeguards than a vigilante "Old West" system of which you daydream.  Once again ...

    ... the reason is obvious.

    BTW - My reference was to "Clint Eastwood", not "Dirty Harry".  Clint played many roles as a vigilante (aka "Old West" justice) including many actual westerns, although even the fictional Harry Callahan would be better than allowing every Joe Sixpack to play judge, jury and executioner.  At least in his movies, the harm/death dealt by the vigilantes was limited to the bad guys.


    Misleading cite (none / 0) (#124)
    by MKS on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 12:26:16 PM EST
    Your reference to the Talk Left article was to someone who was fired.  And it was described as "rare."  You cite it for an example where a prosecutor has immunity from prosecution.

    There is a difference between immunity from prosecution and being fired.....

    Mike Nifong charged wealthy people who had an entire public realtions blitz on their behalf....Very unusual case....Actually proves the point....

    "....the reason is obvious...."

    You want to make this some kind of contest where you can "win" an argument?...Good grief...The point was cops and prosecutors who abuse people and get away with it....

    The Old West was fine in many ways....Neighbors helping neighbors.....Clint Eastwood played fictional characters....Historically, the mythical Old West was created by East Coast muckrakers who had no idea what they were talking about.


    Just sloppy, but better than ... (none / 0) (#126)
    by Yman on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 12:31:50 PM EST
    ... outright falsehoods.

    There is a difference between immunity from prosecution and being fired.....

    Uhhhm, ... no kidding.  The cite was an example of "personal accountability" and in response to your "questions" - "When was the last time you heard of a prosecutor being disciplined by the State Bar?  Or disbarred?  Ever?  Or even fired?" and your prior claim "And prosecutors don't get fired."

    I gave you examples of both, and, in the real world, they do get fired.

    Mike Nifong charged wealthy people who had an entire public realtions blitz on their behalf....Very unusual case....Actually proves the point....

    Mike Nifong's disbarment proves your point that prosecutors don't get fired or disciplined by their state bars?

    Yeeeeaaahh ... good luck with that logic.

    Good grief...The point was cops and prosecutors who abuse people and get away with it....

    No, it wasn't.  The "point" was your claim that there are no checks on police or prosecutors in our justice system, and that an "Old West"/vigilante system would be better.  No one is claiming there aren't cops or prosecutors who are abusive and get away with it.  But I guess it's much easier to knock down straw arguments ...

    ... than real ones.

    The Old West was fine in many ways....Neighbors helping neighbors

    Suuuuuure it was.  Well, ... unless you were wrongly accused of a crime in a cattle or mining town with no justice system and mob rule/verdicts, ..... or you were a Native American, .... or you were a Chinese worker ...... or you were a woman ... etc., etc., etc.


    To each his own (none / 0) (#113)
    by MKS on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 06:29:30 PM EST
    Obviously, your view prevails and mine never will.

    But I'd rather take care of myself than rely on the "system."

    And, as a practical matter, it would be a very, very unusual situation where I would call the cops; or talk to them or a prosecutor without a subpoena and written immunity agreement, and then after that, the exercise of every privilege known to mankind--even for trivial things....


    So what would you do? (none / 0) (#115)
    by Yman on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 07:05:31 PM EST
    And, as a practical matter, it would be a very, very unusual situation where I would call the cops; or talk to them or a prosecutor without a subpoena and written immunity agreement, and then after that, the exercise of every privilege known to mankind--even for trivial things....

    ... if you witnessed a crime, or were the victim of a crime?  Lock and load?

    That usually works out well for Clint Eastwood, ...

    ... but he's just acting in a movie.


    Not likely but It depends (none / 0) (#117)
    by MKS on Sat Sep 25, 2010 at 11:46:58 AM EST
    If I had to call the cops to stop something, I suppose....But much can be done without them.

    And, there are too many folks who have gone to snitch school.....If I see someone smoking a joint at the beach, am I going to call the cops?  Come on, not a chance....

    I have yet in my lifetime to ever have had the need to call the cops.  I suppose such could happen some day but not yet.

    I do see people call the cops because they want to intimidate their neighbors over noise or parties.....Snitches....


    Yes (none / 0) (#120)
    by nyjets on Sat Sep 25, 2010 at 10:39:30 PM EST
    Yes some people use the cops to intimidate neighbors. People also call cops to report break ins, assaults, robbery, murders etc. The majority of time the calls to the cops are legit.
    I am sorry, your pipe dread of mob rule would be a nightmare for most people.

    The "majority" of calls (none / 0) (#125)
    by MKS on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 12:43:01 PM EST
    to cops are not about "break ins, assaults, robbery or murders."  Not even close.

    I have actually looked at calls to the police.  The local sheriff's department publishes its blotter on the internet.  Most of the calls are ticky-tacky stuff involving neighbors, drugs, people who see suspicious people, public intoxication,  etc.

    I looked at a month's worth of calls for our town and was astounded.  

    I also have reviewed the official stats for our County for criminal filings....published by the local DA.  Misdemeanors outnumber felonies by at least 10-1.

    Many people have the "television view" of cops and DAs and crime.  They spend relatively little time on serious and violent felonies....

    If one takes the time to actually research what the criminal justice system really does, I firmly believe one would have a totally different view of things....


    Not talking about a noise or party ... (none / 0) (#122)
    by Yman on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 11:56:29 AM EST
    ... complaint.  What about a real crime?  What if someone was breaking into your house or a neighbor's house?  What about an assault or rape?  What about a child being abused?

    If you've never had the need to call the cops, consider yourself fortunate, but there are many instances where you cannot or should not try to handle it yourself by exacting "Old West" justice.


    It's not lame... (none / 0) (#73)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:37:17 PM EST
    are you aware there as so many federal crimes that no one has been able to come up with a total of how many federal crimes there are?  Literally too many to count, much less keep track of.  I'm not making this up.

    Granted, we all know about the cocaine one...but thats just because its a popular drug.


    There are too many laws (none / 0) (#30)
    by MKS on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:48:44 AM EST
    and too many people in jail....

    and way too many cops and prosecutors....

    The Old West had its merits....

    I find the self-righteousness of people complaining about violation of drug laws to be truly odious.  Don't even think about standing on a soapbox about drugs if you ever drink alcohol.

    I'd really take down prosecutors a notch or two:  They only get the same resources as the defense, and I'd take away their immunity and make them liable for malicious prosecution on the same basis as civil lawyers.  No more notches in their belts for their run for future political office, and no more self-aggrandizing power trips without risk.


    Alcohol? (none / 0) (#34)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:55:17 AM EST
    Make that coffee, tea, any psychoactive or pain relieving over the counter or prescription drug, yoga, sex, movies, chocolate.....

    The puritanical crowd wags their finger at pleasure. How moral.... lol



    Who's being self-righteous? (none / 0) (#46)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:11:12 PM EST
    I've made it clear that I think the drug laws need changing, that there are too many people being sucked up into a system that has gotten out-of-control, but believing the laws need to be revised doesn't change the fact that while we still have those laws, those that break them will face whatever consequences follow from doing so.

    I've seen a lot of damage in my own family from both drug and alcohol use, and I still have no idea why alcohol is treated so much differently than other drugs - well, other than the usual reason - money.  Alcohol has as much potential to ruin lives and families as other drugs, but no one falls over in a dead faint or gasps in horror when someone has a drink.  And I do enjoy my wine...

    I don't know that all the laws having to do with alcohol use have made much of a dent in the numbers of people who still drive drunk - but better-built cars and air bags have saved a lot of lives that might otherwise have become statistics.  But does it mean there should be little or no consequence from driving under the influence?  OR for people who text and drive?  Shoot, I got distracted one day looking at the DVD player in the car in front of me, trying to figure out what they were watching!

    I am no prude.  I am no law and order maniac.  I just want to get from Point A to Point B without becoming the next victim of someone who is whacked out on something or pretending his or her car is an office and isn't watching the road.

    Laws or no laws, people need to use common sense, and have some measure of respect for everyone else trying to co-exist on the same planet; laws or no laws, as long as people choose to do dumb things, bad things will happen.

    And it may be my imagination, but some days I think that in general, there are more stupid people than ever before; they're freakin' everywhere.

    Sorry if that's too "self-righteous" for you.


    More Stupid People? (none / 0) (#47)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:17:18 PM EST
    More likely your perception has about there being more stupid people has to do with your age. Being alive is very dangerous and it appears that the older we get the more we realize that our number is coming up soon.

    There is nothing to fear but fear itself.



    Prescriptions (none / 0) (#83)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 02:20:28 PM EST
    Yes Anne, I considering 3 bottle of meds on a plane and hiking an excessive burden.  I don't have a purse and I like to travel lightly, and with the nature of my injury I needed to have the medication on my person nearly all the time.  One was burdensome in itself, I would have much preferred a Ziploc, if it doesn't fit comfortable in my pockets, I don't need it, for the most part.

    My point, which was totally missed, was the it is impossible to know the consequences you speak of.  How is anyone to make an informed decision when the more important variable, the consequences, is an unknown ?

    Self righteous is telling people to use common sense, what you really mean is they should think and act like you, if they prefer not to, they are guilty of doing 'dumb things' and should suffer the consequences, even if those consequences can't be determined beforehand, they still deserve them.


    So...are you saying that because it's (none / 0) (#90)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 03:00:52 PM EST
    impossible to ever know where and when you might run afoul of the law, you shouldn't be burdened with having to worry about it, and should just be able do what you want?  Because that's what it sounds like.

    I don't care that you did what you did - it makes all kinds of sense to me, in fact, but no one asked me to develop the rules/laws, etc, so there you go.  I think it's ridiculous that someone could be detained because they have what is clearly medication for personal use.  So what, for example, if Aunt Sue gave someone a couple of Xanax to take before a flight?  

    That I don't care if people do that sort of thing doesn't change what we always hear: ignorance of the law is no excuse.  A good lawyer could make it all go away, I'm sure, but there is still, as you mentioned, the expense and the time and all that other stuff that makes no sense.

    We may all think the laws make no sense, and aren't serving any real purpose, but until the laws are changed, don't we all accept the risk of ignoring them?  Whatever they are?  And even if we don't know what they are?


    Sure, be smart (none / 0) (#92)
    by MKS on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 04:18:16 PM EST
    and don't give the cops an excuse....

    Who doesn't get that?

    But you go on and on and on about being responsible, the role of law and order etc.  Sorry, it sounds like an extended apology for the system.  Drink the hemlock because it is the right thing to do.

    My tolerance of the cops has become quite thin.  Never a fan of bossy authoritarians, it has become increasingly hard in my increasing age to listen to a kid 5 years away from a high school report card full of Cs barking moronic orders at me.

    One example.  A year ago, the cops totally screwed up traffic on a number of streets and the freeway on a nice sunny Saturday morning.  All because of a fender bender in the parking lot of strip center.  They had shut down the street on which the strip center was located--a busy four lane thoroughfare.  Traffic backed up on the freeway offramp a couple of lights away.

    They had at least four cruisers involved in blocking traffic.  One cop was out of his car yelling at people, scaring a little old lady nearly to death.  He was shaking his head in a derisively mocking way at the lady as she became confused and froze not knowing what to do.  And the cops were jazzed, loving it.  Big smiles, trading retorts with their buddies.

    With all this activity, it had to be something big, right?  Nope just one car being towed away after its bumper was smashed in.....

    Idiots.  But they did exercise their power with their guns, badges and shotguns and cruisers.


    But I Never Ran Affoul of the Law (none / 0) (#93)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 04:38:36 PM EST
    Why should I have consequences when I didn't break any laws ?

    My point is the authorities would clearly violate my presumption of innocence and assume that I didn't have a prescription.  You are doing the same by suggesting that I should carry proof of ownership.  Do you carry proof that everything in your purse is legally yours ?  No, it's an absurd expectation.

    This has nothing to do with the drug laws, I didn't do anything illegal, it's about my rights, and the assumption that any pills I have in my possession aren't mine.  It's police state BS, making me prove I own the stuff in my possession.

    Just because the crime is drug related, my rights shouldn't change, yet they do and you seem to be fine with that.


    down a notch or two.. (none / 0) (#111)
    by jondee on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 05:20:03 PM EST
    I can't but flash on that scene in The Thin Blue Line in which Randall Adams talks about the prosecutors from Henry Wade's office in Dallas playing golf at St Andrews after blatantly railroading him onto death row.

    And then, after Adams was exonerated, having the utter arrogance and shamelessness to still publicly call him a murderer after the actual killer confessed..  


    Haven't seen any evidence (none / 0) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 10:32:56 AM EST
    of Paris Hilton spending her time trying to change the drug laws. She just choses to ignore them.

    I believe it was MLK... (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 10:40:30 AM EST
    who said "it is a moral responsibilty to disobey unjust laws"...not change them, disobey them.

    I believe that MLK did (none / 0) (#77)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:54:28 PM EST
    work to change the laws. If my memory serves me right, he gave his live for the causes he believed in.

    A real stretch IMO to justify Paris' actions using MLK.


    Stretch? (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:58:02 PM EST
    Hardly. Apart from celebrities, the targets of the drug laws in the US are black and poor. In comparison to drug use the incarceration rate is way out of proportion between whites and blacks in the US.

    It is a civil rights issue, as the drug laws are racist.


    IMO that would be even more of a (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 02:48:32 PM EST
    reason for someone like Paris Hilton to try and change the laws rather than just ignore them.

    Hilton has the celebrity status and the money to fight against unfair laws. OTOH black and poor people do not.


    Different Subject Entirely (none / 0) (#89)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 02:53:06 PM EST
    She does not deserve worse punishment, or an extra kick here at TL (of all places), just because she is not an activist working to reform drug laws.

    therefore rates of drug use by race are, by definition, not equal to rates of drug incarceration by race. But you knew that.

    Good One (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 02:31:58 PM EST
    Good to know that you do not think that the racial disparity in sentencing has nothing to do with racism.

    Must be a bell curve type of thing...

    Surprising how so many stupid people could amass so much power.... it is an argument against natural selection.


    Thanks for the grin. (none / 0) (#86)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 02:37:59 PM EST
    What about alcohol? (none / 0) (#23)
    by MKS on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:37:30 AM EST
    That's okay but having drugs is not.....

    Just change the facts and have Paris caught with a beer....I venture we would have fewer self-righteous rants about spoiled movie stars.


    Probably not (none / 0) (#28)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:44:52 AM EST
    She was in a car - woulda viated open container laws.

    Seriously, this woman knows what she's supposed to be doing and what she isn't supposed to be doing.  The fact that she made a conscious choice to ignore that, and then got caught - it's amazing how many people are whining, "It's not fair!"

    If she doesn't like the laws here, she is certainly free to move somewhere a little more lax, but making excuses is just silly.


    The drug laws are stupid (none / 0) (#39)
    by MKS on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:59:03 AM EST
    and employ too many people.  

    We could save a lot of money if we could fire all those cops and prosecutors busy "winning" the war on drugs.


    I'm sorry but this example is so insanely (none / 0) (#38)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:58:44 AM EST
    insensitive that its virtually insane- And I think thats a huge part of Anne's objection to it- look the Drug War is dumb, but to compare it to an abusive spouse is just obscene- the state monopoly on violence doesn't really work on the level of individual metaphor. A better metaphor for this case (while still insanely tone deaf) would be illegal immigration- Paris is in effect the poor migrant worker who left her home country and sought to enter another in order to find work.

    This is not about illegal immigration (none / 0) (#59)
    by MKS on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:42:26 PM EST
    Good grief, what an obsession....

    and I thought conservatives worshipped free markets--but I guess the laws of supply and demand for labor are somehow not part of that equation...


    On second thought... (none / 0) (#104)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 08:41:30 AM EST
    I think child abuse is a better comparison...the state is more like a parent than a spouse...you get to choose your spouse, your stuck with the government and laws you're born into...just like parents.

    jeralyn asks (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by cpinva on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:43:07 AM EST
    Do celebrities get harsher treatment than others?

    to some degree, yes they do. these are "high profile" cases, used to send a message to the rest of us proles. is it fair? no fairer than sending some poor schmuck to jail for life, because he committed his "third strike" by stealing a loaf of bread, and couldn't afford a $400 an hour attorney.

    ms. hilton has worked diligently to become a "celebrity", someone in the public eye, and not necessarily in a good way. she's entitled to do that. unfortunately, her previous antics have also put a target on her, something her advisors should have advised her of. if they did, and she's chosen to ignore that advice, oh well.

    Famous people have to take the (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by coast on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:56:59 AM EST
    "bad" the same as they take the "good".  Do they get treated differently when they break the law, probably.  Do they get treated differently every other moment, yes.

    Exactly. My guess is that it is a net positive (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:10:48 PM EST
    Even when dealing with the law is taken into account.

    Wonder if you or I would have (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:06:48 PM EST
    been permitted to spend the night at a hotel near the airport?

    I don't get the basis of your complaint Jeralyn. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 02:19:20 AM EST
    Are you saying that the Japanese are breaking a law by holding up or denying Paris's entry while they investigate her?

    I know you are a good lawyer, but I didn't know that your expertise extended to Japanese and International law and you haven't even cited any laws that they might be skirting or breaking.

    Why can't the Japanese read about Paris or see her on TV and take heed?  Is there a Japanese statue against that?

    The best thing Paris can do about being charged for drug crimes is to stay absolutely clean and then if any charges are made, she can do her customary denial and add to that a demand that she be given a blood test for drugs.  After a few months she could get a hair test as well.

    That should work!

    denied entrance (none / 0) (#2)
    by nycstray on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 02:53:52 AM EST
    seems Japan has a history of not letting in celebs with 'drug histories'. yahoo story, forgot to grab the link.

    Little background on denied entrance (none / 0) (#11)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 08:33:21 AM EST
    Per HuffPo

    Soccer icon Maradona was initially banned from entering the country during the 2002 World Cup finals for past drug offenses, but was eventually given a 30-day visa as a "special delegate."

    The Rolling Stones struggled for years to gain entry to Japan and were eventually allowed in despite drug convictions among the group's members. In January 1980, former Beatles member McCartney was arrested for marijuana possession at Narita airport. He was deported without carrying out a planned concert tour by his rock group Wings.

    Also according to this article Paris has cancelled the rest of her Asian tour and returned home.

    Hilton also abruptly canceled planned appearances in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Jakarta, Indonesia.

    Her publicist, Dawn Miller, said Hilton plans to make the trips at a later date.

    "Paris is very disappointed and fought hard to keep her business commitments and see her fans, but she is forced to postpone her commitments in Asia," she said in a statement. "Paris understands and respects the rules and laws of the immigration authorities in Japan and fully wishes to cooperate with them."

    From Wachovia to Paris in the war on drugs... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jacob Freeze on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 04:00:26 AM EST
    And in other news from the war on drugs, the executives at Wachovia who laundered $380 billion in drug money get a free pass.

    Wachovia allowed Mexican drug cartels to launder $380 billion of drug money through its bank, repeatedly looking the other way and ignoring internal whistleblowers who alerted them to the problem. This was a clear violation of federal law, but Wachovia appears to be getting away with it.

    The Justice Department is not seeking an indictment against the company, out of fears that it could destabilize financial markets. Instead, it's reached a "deferred prosecution agreement" -- effectively a settlement -- in which the bank agrees to pay $160 million and promise to never, ever launder drug money again.

    Pretty light penalty for, you know, laundering drug money. The fine amounts to about one-half of one-hundredth of a percent of the drug money that DOJ says passed through the bank.

    Nobody from Wachovia goes to jail for a minute, or even gets probabation!

    So apparently possessing a small quantity of cocaine for personal use is a much more serious crime than laundering $380 billion in drug money!


    What a stupid joke!

    Well, isn't it nice (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Zorba on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 08:50:23 AM EST
    (not) that big banks are not only "too big to fail," they're "too big to prosecute."

    clearly, (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by cpinva on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 05:44:56 PM EST
    ms. hilton's offense was just too penny ante. i've always contended that if you're going to commit a crime, do it big-time. it's even better if you wear a white collar in the process, you reduce your odds of jail time by at least half.

    the important thing is to make enough money to allow you to live comfortably, for the rest of your life, in a country that has no extradition treaty with the US.

    the bank officers no doubt made tons of bonuses, which they'll get to keep. the bank got a slap on the wrist, and the only ones who suffered were the shareholders, and they don't count.


    A little arithmetic (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jacob Freeze on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 04:35:55 AM EST
    Zach Carr at Alternet actually got the numbers slightly wrong in the excerpt which I quoted.

    The fine amounts to about one-half of one-hundredth of a percent of the drug money that DOJ says passed through the bank.

    Wachovia apparently laundered $380 billion, and one percent of that mighty sum would be $3.8 billion, one tenth of one percent is $380 million, one hundreth of one percent is $38 million, and Wachgovia's fine of $160 million actually amounted to...

    A little more than four hundreths of one percent of the laundered money, rather "one-half of one-hundredth of a percent" as Zach miscalculated.

    But if we ask ourselves how much Wachovia was charging the drug barons to launder their money, the real beauty of the deal they got becomes a little clearer.

    Information about how much banks charge to launder money is understably scarce, but if they charged about the same rate as internatiuonal cash-transfer operations like Moneybookers.com, at one percent of the transaction, then...

    Wachovia would have made a profit of $3.8 billion, and only paid a fine of $160 million.


    No longer cool to be a socialite (none / 0) (#7)
    by vicndabx on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 07:56:09 AM EST
    People are constantly putting a target on their backs.  

    A pet peeve of mine has been the (mis)treatment of hollywood-types merely because of their profession.  These people are human too and deserve the same respect we would want.  I do think nowadays, celeb-types are treated harsher.  I was watching E!News the other day w/my girlfriend and they played up the "special treatment that others wouldn't get" angle in their reporting of this story.  I.e. Paris got hooked up.  What's not surprising is there was no mention whatsoever of the harsh penalties she faces, and, as you point out, what is normally handed out for similar offenses to "regular" people.

    Witness the same treatment of LL.

    Lohan (2.00 / 0) (#40)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:01:19 PM EST
    has gotten off way easy- though admittedly its in an area of the law which is strangely (for our society) frankly far, far too lenient- driving while intoxicated is a serious crime and should be treated as such- it displays a flagrant disregard for the lives of others- and as such should be punished more in line with attempted manslaughter.

    BS (none / 0) (#43)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:07:57 PM EST
    Stastically speaking, driving a car period, displays a flagrant disregard for the lives of others- .

    More people are killed by completely sober bad drivers and accidents that are out of anyone's control than any drug.

    Moral hypocrisy.


    BS indeed (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Yman on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 08:26:03 PM EST
    More people are killed by completely sober bad drivers and accidents that are out of anyone's control than any drug.

    About 40% of That's only because the vast majority of drivers are driving while completely sober.  If you equalize the number of drivers, drunk/intoxicated drivers represent a faaaaar greater risk than the average sober driver.

    In the United States the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 17,941 people died in 2006 in "alcohol-related" collisions, representing 40% of total traffic deaths  in the US... Drivers with a BAC of 0.10 are 6 to 12 times more likely to get into a fatal crash or injury than drivers with no alcohol.


    Drink/drug all you want, but regardless of someone's position on using alcohol or drugs in one's own home, DUI laws help protect people from those foolish enough to drive on public roads while intoxicated.


    Not really (none / 0) (#101)
    by Rojas on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 07:22:56 AM EST
    NHTSA has a statistical model which has little to no relation to intoxicated drivers. The term "alcohol-related" includes a passenger in the vehicle or a pedestrian involved in an accident found to have a trace of alcohol in their system. If a designated driver taking friends home gets blind sided by a cop who runs through a red light in hot pursuit this will be an alcohol-related collision for their accounting purposes. It's a propaganda arm of the US government and the data sets and conclusions it puts forth have about the same relation to DUI caused accidents as aluminum tubes had to Sadam's WMD program.

    Yes, REALLY (none / 0) (#102)
    by Yman on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 08:07:23 AM EST
    You may not agree with the NHTSA's categorization of "alcohol-related" accidents (or their objectivity), but are you seriously suggesting that drivers who are intoxicated are no more likely to get into accidents than sober drivers?  That 6-12 times figure comes from a meta-analysis of numerous studies by the USDOT, a study which (in addition to NHTSA stats) includes data from dozens of peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals.  It also reaches that conclusion based on the variable of the driver's BAC level, not whether the accident is merely "alcohol-related".  IOW, in your example above, the designated driver innocently involved in the police pursuit would not be included in this statistic.

    Don't like the NHTSA?  Fine.  The problem is, every single study on the subject shows that intoxication greatly increases the risk of a driving accident.  Of course, if you don't believe the "propoganda" of the NHTSA (and everyone else), I would be interested in seeing any studies which reach the conclusion that intoxication does not increase the risk of an accident.  Otherwise, I would suggest that your data-free conclusion has about the same relation to DUI caused accidents as the Three Little Pigs had to Sadam's WMD program.


    Actually (none / 0) (#116)
    by Rojas on Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 02:49:39 PM EST
    You quoted two claims.
    One clearly refers to "alcohol-related" so yes my example does apply.

    The second, with the 6-12 claim refers to a study conducted in 1978. And while it did draw on other on a couple of other data sources, unamed IIRC, it is not a "meta-analysis of numerous studies by the USDOT, a study which (in addition to NHTSA stats) includes data from dozens of peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals.". No, not even close.

    So in that sense we may as well be discussing the Three Little Pigs because non-fiction seems to beyond your comprehension in regards to the subject matter.


    Wrong about Lohan (none / 0) (#48)
    by MKS on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:19:37 PM EST
    She was convicted of two DUIs in Los Angeles County--in 2007.  

    The standard throughout California for a first DUI is no time in jail, apart from the initial arrest and booking into county jail--but that process can take up to 8 hours, so there is in effect jail time for a first offense.

    A second DUI in LA County usually draws about a day or two in jail, if that.  And jail time is often served via home confinement.

    Lohan served two weeks in jail--far greater than the average.

    Many want her to serve even more time because she is not clean and sober. The hypocrisy is amazing.

    In terms of drinking and driving, I am constantly amazed at the level of denial and hypocrisy involved.  Do you ever do that?  Unless one abstains from drugs and alcohol at all times, one does not, imo, have the slightest standing to complain about drinking and driving.  How many times do prosecutors go to bar events, have a couple of drinks and drive home?  The State of California prosecutors now take the position that .05 blood alcohol is impaired....That is what prosecution expert witnesses are now testifying to.

    How many people have a glass of wine or two and then drive home?  Too many people casting the first stone here.


    Didn't Lohan fail to comply (none / 0) (#55)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:33:52 PM EST
    with the conditions of her probation re the second DUI conviction?  The court did not initially impose custody--only after she failed to comply with the conditions of her probation.

    Yes, true (none / 0) (#66)
    by MKS on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:05:45 PM EST
    It is the ol' probation gotcha....

    But the net result is she served two weeks in a county jail, not a posh re-hab, but jail jail.

    The probabtion violations that will draw jail time just amaze me.  Recently one probationer spent a week in jail, and was released early from his sentence for violation of his probation, for violating the catchall "obey all laws."  

    What was the violation?--not having a bicycle license on him when riding his bicycle.  A week in jail for that?  Just a power trip.

    I spent about three days last year going through the online docket and corresponding case histories of the local courthouse where all the misdemeanors are filed and tried.  I was astonished at how many cases there were for probation violation.  It is just a standard control mehanism where the state must bend the will of the individual to its own.  A classic pis*ing contest.  All pointless.

    I saw cases on the docket going to trial for misdemeanaor prostitution, possession of drug paraphanelia--as a stand-alone charge by itself, not ancillary to some other charge, and other ticky tacky stuff.  And all the cases and lawyers and time and money spent on this nonsense.

    Most people think of rape, murder, robbery and sex offenses against children when they think of "crime."  But in reality that is such a small percentage of the cases actually filed.....  


    The Bar and Restaurant lobby (none / 0) (#52)
    by MKS on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:31:32 PM EST
    would never stand for that.  You know the Republican Small Business Lobby.....

    Successful restaurants make their money on booze....The winelist is a money maker.

    I'd be all for total abstinence when driving....If one is not willing to go that far, then one should focus on his or her own dangerous behavior before condemning the rest of society for something they do all the time.


    Wow... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 08:02:39 AM EST
    1 in 30 Americans can't go to Japan.  One nation under arrest.

    Jake points out the lunacy of it all quite well...Wachovia pays the functional equivalent of a nickel fine, flesh and blood pay through the nose in lost liberty.

    BTW...I think the going rate for washing ducats is 40-50% percent with a big "legit" bank.  Why we sacrifice human beings like Paris Hilton and all the Joe and Jane Blows on the altar of banker and gangster riches is totally beyond me...it is the definition of cruel insanity.

    Not to mention, (none / 0) (#9)
    by weltec2 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 08:22:25 AM EST
    if it happens in Jakarta or Kuala.

    Ouch! Is that ratan time or Central Mountain Time?

    Aaaah the central mounds... er, Central Mountains.

    You should care... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 08:43:00 AM EST
    about the state's tired antics Don...pretend it's Patty Schmilton if ya have to.

    Think of the risk to the youth the drug war creates.

    kdog, if it was (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by cpinva on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 05:39:37 PM EST
    Patty Schmilton

    methinks she'd even now be a guest of one of the state's finest penal institutions, not jetting off to asia. unless ms. schmilton was able to afford the fine legal counsel who represented ms. hilton.


    Very likely true... (none / 0) (#103)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 08:15:36 AM EST
    but when they can nail ya with a high-priced attorney, what chance do we have?

    I can't bring myself to wish ill on rich/celebrity drug-war victims just because the poor schmuck gets screwed worse...the poor always get screwed worse.

    And the point of the post is this is changing...the celebrity free pass is dead or dying.  They might be getting treated more harshly than the poor schmuck.  More drug-war victims is no reason to rejoice cp.  "John Law bagged a rich one" is no consolation to me, it's just more sorrow.


    I personally (none / 0) (#31)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:52:34 AM EST
    have a hard time seeing how what happened here was wrong- unless you're arguing that states have no right to control entry to their country.

    I believe individuals... (none / 0) (#71)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:22:54 PM EST
    have a right to travel the orb they were born on freely, I know every nation on earth disagrees.

    But absent that pipe-dream, the least we could do is stop criminalizing so many of our people for so few reasons, restricting their travel.  


    So to citizens (none / 0) (#75)
    by nyjets on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:49:55 PM EST
    I think you would find that most people in there respective countries would also prefer to have there home countries regulate people who enter their country as well.

    True... (none / 0) (#76)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:53:33 PM EST
    oddballs like me don't care who comes and goes...the status quo is how people want it I guess.

    As I recall, a foreign national (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:18:31 AM EST
    entering Japan must fill out a form, which includes questions about criminal history.  At the airport on arrival a Japanese government person reads the completed form and asks questions.  Assuming Ms. Hilton accurately completed the form, the information was provided to the Japanese government by her.

    Now, now (5.00 / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:39:02 AM EST
    Are you saying Paris is (gasp!) actually responsible for her own actions???

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:46:24 AM EST
    cuz chains, cages, restrictions, and hassles are the natural consequences to her actions...yeah right.

    You law and order cats seem to forget this is a system we created out of thin air for dubious reasons...but lets just keep playing along cuz it's older than us...that makes a whole lotta sense.


    What A Load of BS (1.00 / 1) (#42)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:05:19 PM EST
    But considering that you know so much about Japan, it is obvious that you are choosing to cherry pick in order to entertain the current moral majority here at TL.

    I don't see that you have refuted (5.00 / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:40:15 PM EST
    what I typed.  Did I miss something?  Is there any particular reason you start out with "What a load of BS"?  Seems rather inflammatory and unnecessary and your entire comment is insulting.  

    Yes, You Did Miss Something (none / 0) (#60)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:50:11 PM EST
    Do celebrities get harsher treatment than others? With respect to Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, it seems that way to me....

    So what gives? Some immigration officer in Japan saw it on the news and got star-struck and decided to detain her? Sounds like it.

    But on cue, you are once again arguing for the prosecutor. Your comment paints Paris as stupid, naive, and a criminal who is justifiably shunned.

    It is clear that the PR gained for the tough on crime drug laws in Japan is what is on the table here. Paris Hilton is being used, which proves that Jeralyn's question is yes, celebrities are treated harsher than others.

    Not sure why you insist on arguing that the justice is blind. It is a habit, evidentially, and a bad one, imo.


    Did you notice the question marks in (none / 0) (#63)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:00:57 PM EST
    the Jeralyn quotes?  

    Exactly My Point (none / 0) (#70)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:09:08 PM EST
    And the POV of Jeralyn is affirmative.
    it seems that way to me.

    You appear to be arguing that Paris is being treated just the same as everyone. The elephant in the room, which you seem to be missing is that the Japan is using celebrities much like the US is using celebrities to promote its unfair drug laws.

    IOW you are arguing the governments position and Jeralyn is arguing the people's position. Quelle surprise.


    Shhh. Ixnay on the actsfay... (none / 0) (#32)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:52:52 AM EST
    I have never had a client on probation (none / 0) (#35)
    by Peter G on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:56:11 AM EST
    who was permitted to travel outside the United States (and sometimes not even outside the state) without advance permission of the Probation Office at least, and usually not without the personal ok of the judge.  I realize this is "unsupervised" probation, but it's not an unconditional release; there are still, surely, a list of conditions that must be complied with for that year.  Do you know, TL, whether the travel violated a condition of Ms. Hilton's probation in the first place, or was perhaps undertaken with permission? It does not appear that under Nev. Rev. Stat. 176A.400 any particular conditions are mandatory, but a travel restriction is suggested.  

    the DA said yesterday (none / 0) (#67)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:06:32 PM EST
    she is free to travel as she wishes, she has no restrictions because she is unsupervised. It's in one of the articles I linked to, Reuters maybe?

    Here's the link (none / 0) (#69)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:08:05 PM EST
    It was the AP article

    "We have no legal basis to restrict her from traveling throughout the United States or throughout the world," Clark County District Attorney David Roger said.

    Thanks, very interesting (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Peter G on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:54:57 PM EST
    ... and unusual, in my experience, even for an unsupervised probation.  But what do I know about Nevada misdemeanors or about Nevada probation?  (Hint:  Nothing.)

    the topic is Paris please (none / 0) (#65)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:04:27 PM EST
    no more sniping between commenters on other subjects.

    I imagine that Paris (5.00 / 0) (#72)
    by Boo Radly on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:24:48 PM EST
    filed out the required paper work on her past history to gain entry into Japan and  that is why she was detained. Many other greater "celebrities" have been denied entry so it was almost a given she would be denied - wonder why she still went?

    Awful way to treart a celebrity (none / 0) (#81)
    by Yes2Truth on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 02:08:46 PM EST

    Honestly, don't those Japanese folks know who Paris is?  

    Paris, I'm sorry they're treating you thisaway.  
    Out of curiosity, have you ever met the female Paris?  She's also a celeb!

    visa application, perhaps? (none / 0) (#99)
    by kaybeel on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 08:45:41 PM EST
    If she's there to work, she would have had to get a visa. Or she should have to (some people will work on visitor's visas, but if they suspect that is the case they will deny access).
    I can't recall offhand, but I believe there are questions about drug prosecutions on the visa application.

    What's interesting to note here (none / 0) (#105)
    by beefeater on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 10:49:20 AM EST
    Is the obvious racism being demonstrated by the Japanese government.

    In free and compassionate America a border crosser with a backpack full of drugs is welcomed with open arms and financial, medical and educational assistance.

    Why can't they be like we are, perfect in every way?

    The Japanese policy... (none / 0) (#107)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 11:58:41 AM EST
    is pretty f*cked up, no argument here.

    But I think you got our policy all wrong...unless border patrol shooting you in the back is what you consider "welcoming with open arms".  

    I wish we were as cool as you think we are...but we ain't chief, not by a long shot.