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November 13, 2008

Today's dog-bites-man headline in the sentencing world

This new story over the AP wire caught my eye because of its shocking headline: "Anne Hathaway's ex-boyfriend not enjoying prison."  Here's more:

Italian con man Raffaello Follieri, who went from dating actress Anne Hathawayto serving a prison term for fraud, isn't enjoying the "unspeakably unsanitary" conditions at a federal jail in Brooklyn.  Follieri's lawyer sent a letter to a judge this week complaining about the facility....

The lawyer, Flora Edwards, said things are so bad, it has made Follieri ill.  So far he has had a fever, blood in his urine, intestinal problems and shortness of breath.  Edwards asked the judge to have the 30-year-old transferred back to the federal jail in Manhattanwhere he was previously held.  The judge asked the government to look into Follieri's complaints.

Though the silly headline to this story was what first caught my eye (does anyone "enjoy" prison?), the fact that Follieri's complaints are making national news and bringing attention to prison conditions is also noteworthy.  Indeed, this AP story reminds me why I sometimes experience schadenfreude when celebrity defendants (with well-compensated attorneys) are exposed to the ugly underbelly of our modern criminal justice system.

November 13, 2008 at 02:38 PM | Permalink

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Comments

This is a good example of why I think sentences are relative to the individual's background. 30 days in prison for a clean, well-groomed, individual is more severe than 3 years in prison for a filthy dirty street-dweller. Unfortunately it's practically impossible to separate wealth from this consideration. But I don't think it's fair to ignore the reality that prison is harder on some people than others. We should sentence people, not crimes.

Posted by: BruceM | Nov 15, 2008 12:20:37 AM

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