Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's an Election Year -- Paris Hilton Might Actually be in Trouble

Paris Hilton, the vacuous "socialite" who is famous for, I suppose, being famous and appearing in a "sex tape" was recently caught with cocaine in her purse -- or, a friend's purse.
Paris Hilton will be charged with possession of a controlled substance -- .8 grams of cocaine -- this according to documents obtained by TMZ ... and it's a felony.
...
According to the police report, obtained by TMZ, the cop who stopped the Escalade pulled along the passenger side of the vehicle and smelled "the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle."

The cop writes he noticed immediately the passenger was Paris. He then observed her trying to roll up the window.

After the traffic stop and a crowd of 100 people gathered around, Hilton said she was "extremely embarrassed" and asked the cop if she could go to the bathroom at the Wynn Hotel.

At the hotel, Paris told the cop she needed lip balm so the cop handed Paris her purse: "As she began to open it, I saw a small bindle of what I believed to be cocaine in a clear baggie begin to fall from the purse and into my hand."
The policeman let her go to the bathroom? Um, as Entertainment Lawyer at Crazy Days and Nights points out
First of all, to think there was no special treatment in all of this is ridiculous. Next time you get pulled over at a traffic stop, go ahead and tell the police you are embarrassed and need to pee and see if all of you head off to a hotel lobby together. Go ahead and give it a try.
Second, and perhaps equally as important, .8 grams of cocaine isn't even a gram. That doesn't sound like much, to me. But then, I'm no expert! Of course, I'm one of those crackpots who thinks that people ought to be able to use their own bodies for whatever purpose they want, whether it's to use drugs or eat fast food.

We have better things to do with our money than fight a war on drugs -- we have a war on terror going on right now.

Regardless of whether Ms. Hilton "almost got away with it," it now it looks like she might be looking at serious jail time, not that phony baloney stuff she got sentenced to in Los Angeles.

Because Las Vegas is different. For one thing, the prosecutor is running for reelection.
District Attorney David Roger is highly unlikely to offer Paris a plea bargain deal on her cocaine possession charge, a source close to the case told RadarOnline.com exclusively.
...
“Roger won't tolerate celebrities coming to Las Vegas and thinking they can get away with illegal behavior,” the source close to the case told RadarOnline.com.

“It's going to be extremely difficult for Paris to get out of these charges, even with the brilliant legal skills of her lawyer, David Chesnoff.”

Hilton is facing a felony drug possession charge that carries a prison sentence of one to four years. ...

Roger is running for reelection and has a record of high-profile victories in the legal arena.

“This is a high profile case, right before a very important election, and it's very likely that there will be no plea bargaining down of these charges," said the source.
No plea bargains this year, Ms. Hilton! The prosecutor is running for re-election.

Wait a second -- are you telling me that the dispassionate pursuit of "justice" can be influenced by something like an election?

Really?

Ha, fooled you -- I was only pretending to be scandalized by that notion. Prosecutors actually have a lot of discretion when it comes to enforcing the law.
The conventional wisdom is that prosecutors are best positioned to evaluate these reasons. Consequently, prosecutors are granted almost unfettered charging discretion. More narrowly, when prosecutors decline or pursue charges for equitable reasons, they exercise their prerogative unchecked. This is defensible only if prosecutors are most competent to exercise equitable discretion. That question is almost never asked or critically analyzed. Instead, case law and commentators justify prevailing institutional design with reference only to uncontroversial understandings that prosecutors know most about legal merits and strategic priorities. In fact, several reasons exist to believe that prosecutors are ill suited to consider the normative merits of potential charges. First, professional prosecutors fail sufficiently to individualize cases, lumping them instead into legal boxes. Second, professional prosecutors prioritize institutional concerns over equitable particulars. Notably, prosecutors are least competent to adequately consider the equities in the precise types of cases in which commonsense discretion matters most.
Emphasis added because, well, as someone said to RadarOnline, it's an election year, and Ms. Hilton is being made an example of.

Yes, it's difficult to shed any tears for Ms. Hilton. She was born with a silver spoon on her face and she does naught but party and get paid for it, go clubbing and get paid for it, and hang out with men and get paid for it.

Occasionally, she speaks. Usually, to her own detriment.

But still -- it's an election year should not be a viable excuse for a prosecutor to go after someone. It's shameful that we all just casually accept this notion that politically-ambitious jackasses are given almost unfettered charging discretion, which they then use to further their own careers.

Vote for David Roger: The Man Who Put it to Paris Hilton.

The prosecutors who have all this discretion can also, as it turns out, withhold evidence in cases, and face almost no consequence for doing so.

I doubt there's much chance of Ms. Hilton not getting a "fair trial;" after all she is a famous, affluent, white person. But, seriously, do you want to see her charged for having .8 grams of cocaine, and by a prosecutor who wants to appear tough on crime in an election year?

I have been tired of this "tough on crime" bulls hit for awhile now. And if we are going to be "tough on crime," can we please not have such stupid laws?

David Roger's new campaign picture.

Paris Hilton mugshot pic source.

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