June 7, 2007
Paris Hilton Released After Three Days
In a bow to current pop culture and the abiding interests of my two teenagers, TMZ.com is reporting (here) that unimpeachable sources say Paris Hilton has been released from jail after serving only three days of a 23-day sentence imposed for her traffic violation. That sentence was about half the original 45-day sentence for the offense. With all the talk about harsh sentencing in white collar cases (e.g. Libby, Skilling, Ebbers, Rigases, etc.), here's one going the other direction. (ph -- and I promise no further posts on this topic, unless they're really interesting)
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There's another perspective on the severity of sentences white collar crime cases. Many of these cases, though admittedly not all, involve what would commonly be called theft, and of huge sums of money. Whether it be through insider trading, sham corporations, back-dated options, personal aggrandizement of corporate assets, or the endless variety of creative fiscal shenanigans that have spurred even a pro-business Department of Justice to prosecute, we're still talking about plain old stealing in the multi-million dollar range. It's hard to work up a lather over 5, 10, or 20 year sentences when those thefts destroy the economic lives of others (and even when they don't).
Posted by: Will | Jun 7, 2007 9:51:46 PM