The basis of any society of law is that the law is blind. Special conditions cannot exist for anyone, for all must be equal under the law. Allowing double standards or special exceptions for special people to exist encourages the law to be broken. America is sometimes said to have “the best legal system money can buy,” and sadly, this is true.
If you or I were arrested for drunk driving tomorrow, we’d be facing fines and perhaps jail time. This time would be spent in a standard state run prison. Our conditions would be spartan, but not intolerable. We would not be treated differently than any other inmates serving a similar sentence. When our time in prison is finished we would be released with the incident put on our record. This is all as the law says it should be and is, by most definitions, considering how serious drunk driving is, a fair punishment.
Now consider the last time you heard that a celebrity was caught drunk driving. I’m sure there were fines, which, to someone who can make a million dollars doing a 30 second commercial, not horribly burdensome. If there was jail time, it was spent in a prison with many more amenities than anything a common citizen would be given, and it was almost certainly not the time prescribed by the judge. If it went on the celebrity’s permanent record it would be of little consequence, they can always pay someone else to drive for them.
Is this fair? Is this justice? Of course it is not. Considering we’re talking of a criminal JUSTICE system, this is a travesty. People should face the consequences of their actions and those consequences should be the same regardless of whether you’re Brittney Spears or John Smith of Anytown USA. If you run a dog fighting ring and are convicted of cruelty to animals you should be locked up as long as the court sees fit. Your name should never enter into it. Your fame should be irrelevant. The number of digits in your bank statement should count for less than nothing.
Should celebrities who break the law be given a second chance? It depends on whether a person in a similar position without the shield of fame would be given such a chance? If the “nobody” would, than the celebrity should as well. If not, they should be held accountable as anyone else. The law shouldn’t see them as special.