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August 24, 2007

Speedy prison "justice" for Nicole Richie

This Los Angeles Times story about Nicole Richie's minutes in prison provies perhaps a fitting issue for Friday commentary.  Here are the baics:

Now that's what you call fast service.  Reality TV star Nicole Richie was released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department after serving just 82 minutes of her four-day sentence for driving under the influence of drugs. Richie reported to the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood at 3:15 p.m. After being processed, sheriff's officials released her at 4:37 p.m.

Authorities said her sentence was radically cut under guidelines the Sheriff's Department uses to deal with chronic overcrowding in its jail system.  The county is under a federal order to reduce overcrowding, resulting in the release of thousands of inmates who serve just a fraction of their sentences....

Undersheriff Larry Waldie, second in command at the department, said Richie was treated like any other female inmate.  "The reality of overcrowding is that would have happened to any female inmate with a 96-hour sentence," he said. "They were told to treat her like any other inmate, and that is what happened here."

Officials said a nonviolent woman sentenced to less than 30 days in jail typically serves less than 12 hours. In 2006, actress Michelle Rodriguez received a 60-day sentence for violating probation and was out after four hours and 20 minutes because of jail overcrowding.  Over the last five years, more than 200,000 inmates have been released early because of overcrowding in county jails.

August 24, 2007 at 07:09 AM | Permalink


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This case may cause some cognitive dissonance for the left. We have a well-off person getting a lenient sentence (oooooooooooo that's bad), but it's caused (in part) by a federal court order reducing overcrowding (ooooooooooooo that's good).

Posted by: federalist | Aug 24, 2007 10:49:55 AM

Federalist, Believe it or not, nobody really cares. Nobody is arguing that she got an unjust sentence, or that the law was in any way not complied with. These “left” and “right” labels, are really quite silly, and have no application to legal discussion. But, since you have said many ties that you are not a lawyer, I guess it makes sense.

In fact, if she were not an annoying twit, this would go unnoticed.

Now, if she had plead gulty to 2d-degree genocide (yes, I know, girls are no good at genocide) but was released early, maybe things would be different.

Posted by: S.cotus | Aug 24, 2007 11:47:05 AM

"2nd Degree Genocide"? Genocide committed in the "heat of passion"?

"Honestly Judge, one minute I was just trying to get a croissant and the next I was surrounded by 1000 dead Frenchmen."

[I used the French to satisfy "Freedom Fry" lovers like Federalist].

Posted by: Dweedle | Aug 24, 2007 11:59:27 AM

That would be Voluntary Ethnic Cleansing. 2d degree genocide would be genocide without using a tool designed to cause genocide. E.g. a Salad Shooter.

Posted by: S.cotus | Aug 24, 2007 12:05:02 PM

Federalist & I will have to take your word for it since there is no entry in Wikipedia.

Posted by: Dweedle | Aug 24, 2007 12:10:40 PM

I am surprised. I will request one.

Posted by: S.cotus | Aug 24, 2007 12:58:20 PM

Actuellement, je parle francais un petit peu. C'est une belle langue.

Posted by: federalist | Aug 24, 2007 1:51:25 PM

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