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July 19, 2010

"Five Things You Need to Know About Lindsay Lohan's Pending Jail Stint"

The title of this post is the headline of this hard-hitting new piece at E! Online. Here is the piece's intro and the heading of those important "five things you need to know":

Lindsay Lohan is going to do the time — even though she remains in denial. "She's really nervous," a source close to the actress tells E! News. "She is still hoping she is not going to jail." Meanwhile, back in reality...

Lindsay is due to surrender herself tomorrow to begin serving her 90-day sentence, which will likely be shortened drastically due to overcrowding (25 percent of the original sentence is about as much as gets served these days).

After appearing in court, she will likely be shuttled to the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, Calif. And here's what you need to know about Lindsay's new digs:

1. It Has Celebrity Cachet....

2. It'll Ruin Her Diet of Kombucha and Cigarettes....

3. Michelle Rodriguez Is Not Impressed....

4. It's Girl-on-Girl....

5. It's Going to Be a Rough Ride....

Relatedly, I would like to know if readers would like me to keep blogging about the train-wreck starlet who is about to become (not-quite-) just-another number among the nearly 2.5 million persons incarcerated in the United States. 

I generally enjoy blogging about celebrity cases because they provide a visible setting to discuss timely sentencing issues.  Also, even silly celebrity posts tend to generate many interesting comments and can be fun as a change of pace.  But I am already feeling as though I have done a bit too much LiLo blogging lately, and will only keep on this particular celebrity beat if readers think it worthwhile.

Related recent Lohan sentencing posts:

July 19, 2010 at 05:55 PM | Permalink


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While there is certainly a real-world application in which court processes can be analyzed and compared to Joe Public or Jose Public's legal processes, in my opinion the only worth than can be given to covering Lohan's stay with Bubba-ette would be the google searches that people make on her name, and come to your blog for the first time, then become habitual readers. If you feel the Google hits can get you enough new blood, then by all means keep on doing the results. But for the most part I have one basic rule:

If someone is worth over a million dollars, then they cannot POSSIBLY have the same problems I will ever face; therefore I don't give a rats what happens to them. Let TMZ and the teeming minions follow their every utterance, and leave real legal discussions to the professionals. If there are any interesting legal gems to be derived from her little trip to the slammer, then I may change my tune, but that's unlikely.

Quoting E! should be done sparingly in any case.

Posted by: Eric Knight | Jul 19, 2010 6:05:30 PM

The Lindsay Lohan (LL) case is emblematic of the absurdity of America’s criminal justice system: our urge to put humans in cages is unquenchable. She’s starring in a remake of “Drag Me To Hell” why exactly?

Because her behavior was an affront to a California Superior Court judge's order? Get real – this person doesn’t need to be (shouldn't be) in jail.

I’m uncertain whether hers qualifies as a “technical” parole / probation violation in the vernacular but it is exactly this type of minor technical parole / probation violation that has stuffed California’s prisons and jails to the breaking point and brought the State of California to the edge of bankruptcy.

Posted by: Brian | Jul 19, 2010 6:30:52 PM

Yes, Doug, please keep blogging about LiLo! The treatment of celebrities in prison is a topic that gets lots of topical press (i.e., E Online), but not much scholarly attention. And yet it's another telling facet of our sentencing/prison industrial regime. Plus, if I read about it from your blog, it counts as "research" and not "procrastination"....

Posted by: Laura | Jul 19, 2010 7:11:36 PM

If she makes news again (which is likely), then keep the posts coming.

Posted by: Marc Shepherd | Jul 19, 2010 8:39:44 PM

What's it all done to your hit count and can you start charging more for or getting more ads???

Posted by: Michael Connelly | Jul 20, 2010 7:56:29 AM

Doug --

In one important way, LiLo is wonderfully representative of defendants and thus an apt subject for continued coverage: She thinks the problem lies with the behavior of the system, not with her behavior. Thus the system is an oaf, and she's the victim. The cops are fascists; the prosecutor is a Neanderthal; the judge is in a conspiracy with both, but the defendant is blameless -- nothing more than a slightly boozed up Joan of Arc.

I love it. For once, the whole tawdry defense worldview is on display.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jul 20, 2010 9:10:05 AM

By all means, keep it coming on all major celebrity sentencings. I have maintained several times that the rich and famous continue to get unwarranted breaks in the criminal justice system. It's worth covering for the stupid laws (e.g. possession of marijuana; underage drinking) because only when the rich and famous get the hammer dropped on them too will any real systemic change in the legal order occur. As for the real crimes (e.g. homicide; domestic violence), we should be outraged if people aren't given a just punishment solely because they have notoriety.

Not to mention, it's nice to have commentary by real lawyers (or people knowledgeable about legal issues) on this blog, rather than by celeb-press hacks who inevitably butcher some legal concept in the opening 15 seconds.

Posted by: Res ipsa | Jul 20, 2010 9:15:51 AM


I like how you describe the view of the cops, prosecutors and judges in the eyes of these celebs.

I do think individuals (celebrity or not) have to only themselves to blame for being in a situation where they find themselves in front of a judge.

With that said though, I do think there is also a kernel of truth in the descriptions you gave.

Posted by: Questions Authority | Jul 20, 2010 12:15:19 PM

Bill. I almost agreed with something you said! My area of dispute is that in the scenario you described above, the defendant does not always start out as unreasonable. Often they are willing to acknowledge that they made a mistake and accept responsibility for it. Then as a consequence the judge sets pointless or marginal condition #1 (bring me a shrubbery!) and reasonable condition #2 (dont commit another crime). Defendant complies with reasonable condition #2, but instead of a shruberry brings the probation officer a bonsai. The court sets a hearing wherein the prosecutor argues that rehabilitation is clearly not possible for probationers that cannot follow simple plant identification and fetching rules, and the balance of the sentence should be imposed as jail time. The judge agrees and justice prevails!In this situation sometimes the defendant might have a point in questioning the nature and quality of the proceedings.

My take: LiLo is much more personally responsible for her situation, although she likely has yes men all around her confirming her belief that she did (does) nothing wrong. In any case, it seems like throwing her in the can for 10 days to let her know this is for real and giving her another chance to go to treatment might wake her up, which seems to be the real problem. The point of the conditions is to get her to go to treatment right? Or is it to demand absolute literal compliance and obedience for its own sake?

Prof, I think continued postings on this are fine at your discretion. They provide a break from some of the more serious topics (after all she will survive). This case also provides a window into misdemeanor court probations violations, which does not get much attention.

Posted by: KRG def attny | Jul 20, 2010 12:34:53 PM

How many alcohol education classes did she miss? Was there some type of idea that she had to be at a given class on a given day? I think most judges would not lock a person up for missing a few classes as long as there is compliance with completing the classes within a deadline. Although I don't think I would ever suggest, to a client, that it is okay to do this, I believe this would be the position of most judges.

Posted by: Tim Holloway | Jul 20, 2010 1:28:00 PM


She missed seven, according to alcohol counseling employees who testified. Judge Revel also found Lohan's apology and excuse to be both implausible and insincere--i.e., Lohan knowingly violated her probation conditions.

Not a surprising finding, given that nothing about the case--multiple DUIs and cocaine convictions, drinking while on probation, and skipping seven classes, not to mention the vulgarity on Lohan's middle finger that Judge Revel didn't even know about--shows remorse or acceptance of responsibility.

Posted by: Res ipsa | Jul 20, 2010 1:39:49 PM

Res ipsa, that certainly puts things in context. Seven is a pretty high number to miss . . . and if all those other things you mentioned are accurate (and I have no reason to suggest they are not accurate) then she should have anticipated the hammer was about to hit her.

Posted by: Tim Holloway | Jul 20, 2010 2:41:33 PM

When it comes to jail alternatives celebrity status does matter. Suppose the celebrity were placed on probation and were then to drive drunk causing a fatal accident. Obviously there
will be a huge outburst of public indignation. It is hard to predict the outcome but the worst case would be the suspension or termination of the jail alternative. I suppose there would be a similar reaction if an ordinary person placed in a jail alternative were to drive drunk and cause a fatal accident where the person killed was a celebrity.

Posted by: John Neff | Jul 20, 2010 2:49:53 PM

seems we have more info now. According to her lawyer she's SUCESSFULLY completed the treatment program.


Despite short jail stint, Lohan won't be back soon
By ANTHONY McCARTNEY AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Lindsay Lohan's time in jail will be short, but her time away from the public eye will be much longer.

Sheriff's officials say the actress will spend only about two weeks of a 90-day sentence in jail. But her brief time in an isolation cell that has housed other celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Michelle Rodriguez is just one element of a sentence that is designed to punish and rehabilitate the star.

Once Lohan is released in early August, she will be required to report to probation officials within a day. She has also been ordered to spend three months at an inpatient rehab.

That portion of her sentence won't be trimmed like her jail stint by overcrowding and credits for good behavior.

"It's a straight 90 days," prosecutor Danette Meyers said Tuesday.

The result is that the "Mean Girls" and "Georgia Rules" star will be unavailable until late this year to start filming her portrayal of porn actress Linda Lovelace in a biopic. She will be equally unavailable to promote her role as a gun-toting nun in Robert Rodriguez's "Machete," which marks her return to the big screen in September.

It amounts to lost time for the once-promising actress, whose movements have been restricted since she missed a court date in May. It remains to be seen whether Lohan can replicate a post-jail rebound similar to Michelle Rodriguez, who had a prominent role in last year's blockbuster "Avatar" and appears in "Machete."

Lohan's acting career has floundered since 2007, the year she was arrested twice and charged with drunken driving and drug charges. Her plea deal kept her out of jail for all but 84 minutes, but she has struggled with the terms of her probation.

Most of her problems have involved attendance at a state-mandated alcohol education class. The revelation that she missed seven sessions since December, when a judge ordered her weekly participation, led to her return to jail and the new probation terms.

Ironically, Lohan's attorney filed proof with the court Tuesday that she had completed the program. Moments later the nervous-looking actress rose from her chair and was handcuffed by a bailiff.

She was led to a lockup cell as her estranged father yelled out a message of support, then whisked by car to the women's jail. Cameras documented every move, except for the actual handcuffing, which the judge barred photographers from shooting.

It was more time in front of the cameras for a woman who has been filmed since she was a child, but once again not in the role most people pay to see.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 21, 2010 8:13:33 PM

Just another day in court where the lindsay lohan's and paris hilton's add another 15 minutes to their fame. Ordinary JQ Public would never fare so well in our lop-sided justice system; cases such as lohan's and hilton's just show how enamoured our judges are with celebs in their courtrooms and that laws are for the lesser people and certainly not the wealthy. Preferential treatment is the key here and to heck with the laws.

Posted by: CJM | Nov 12, 2010 8:30:08 PM

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