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February 10, 2009

Another prominent federal felon gets prominent TV gig

I always find it interesting how easy it is for the rich and famous to move past federal felony convictions.  Martha Stewart, some may recall, made lots of money during her incarceration because her company's stock rose significant while she served her federal prison sentence.  And Stewart's television show is still going strong.

Now, according to this news report, headlined "Rapper Lil' Kim joins 'Dancing with the Stars'," another well-known federal felon is going to get some notable post-release screen time:

Grammy-award winning rapper Lil' Kim, Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson and former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor will hit the floor for "Dancing With the Stars" when the show returns for an 8th season in March, ABC said on Monday....

Johnson, 17, who won an Olympic gold medal at the Beijing games in 2008, is the youngest ever competitor on the hit show which returns with a two-hour season premiere on March 9.

Singer and actress Lil' Kim, 33, spent a year in prison in 2005 after being found guilty of perjury and conspiracy for lying about the involvement of her friends in a 2001 shooting in New York....

"Dancing With the Stars" has proved a ratings smash for ABC.  Its last season, which ended in September 2008, drew about 19 million viewers per episode.

It is nice to see that at least some prominent persons do not have their lives completely changed by federal felony convictions (though, as regular readers know, apparently these felons forever lost their Second Amendment rights by virtue of their convictions).  Perhaps Stewart and Lil' Kim can become official celebrity endorsers of the federal Second Chance Act.

February 10, 2009 at 11:25 AM | Permalink


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Florida Inmate Advocate

Reading your blog is a bright spot in a dreary day. Wait until Michael Vick gets out, he will probably be a supporter of Animal Rights, and also make millions. It's pretty sad that your average inmate gets nothing, Federal or State, but "no hiring today".

Posted by: OliveRose | Feb 10, 2009 11:55:34 AM

I guess there is no mistake the American public can't forgive of its celebrities.

Posted by: Joe | Feb 10, 2009 12:33:20 PM

Forgive them for what, breaking the law and then because of celebrity status the televison networks see millions in the sign of $$$$$$ but your adverage Inmate gets out and who sees money to be made on them? Don't you see just a little something wrong with this?

Posted by: OliveRose | Feb 10, 2009 1:18:21 PM

Agreed that they should stand up and advocate for people who aren't as fortunate as they are to have such opportunities after prison. Somehow, I doubt they will.

Forgiveness isn't applicable. They did their time. As far as society is concerned, we are even. At least, that is how is is supposed to work.

Posted by: M | Feb 10, 2009 1:32:52 PM

There is definitely a double standard in the U.S. about being a offender of any sorts when it comes to celebrity status. Accuse a celebrity of rape and that woman gets death threats. R. Kelly and his preference for underage girls hasn't slowed down his career in a country that's obsessed with lynch mob mentalities when it comes to any sex crime. Millions still worship Elvis Presley even though he had a thing for a 14 year old when he was 24. Though that was a different time period were that was somewhat acceptable it still boogles my mind that no one seems to care while its a crime of epic proportions now.

Posted by: MarkM | Feb 10, 2009 9:23:44 PM

Exactly for what, I have to ask, does Martha Stewart need our "forgiveness"? Proclaiming her innocence to a charge that was never lodged against her? That's why she did time.

What surprises me is that anybody still attaches much importance to the "felony" tag the feds hang on ordinary citizens and celebrities alike on the flimsiest of pretexts.

The lying-to-bureaucrats charge has become a particularly effective tool in the feds' terrifying arsenal of one-size-fits-all "felony" raps...right up their with bogus derivative charges like wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy...any of which can be easily applied by ambitioius, imaginative prosecutors to almost any activity.

Shame on the cowardly, cynical lawmakers who fashioned and fostered this federal conviction system into the monster it's become.

Posted by: John K | Feb 11, 2009 10:06:29 AM

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