Sunday, 13 May 2012

Los Angeles: Land of the Untouchables

Hollywood. The epitome of the American Dream. The place where dreams become a reality. Lala Land so they call it. There’s certainly an air of glamour about the place, it’s an aspirational location for aspiring talent. And apparently, crimes committed by the Hollywood elite come with a far lighter slap on the wrist than those committed by the rest of the world.

Matthew Broderick, star of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, took two innocent lives in a car crash in Northern Ireland in August 1987 in which he claimed he had no recollection of what happened. He was fined $150 for death by careless driving, which is the equivalent of £100. So if I do my math correctly I work that out to be valuing each life he took at £50. No prison sentence, nothing. How on earth can you put that price on human life? And how can a judge allow him to have gotten off so lightly? He got the same punishment you would receive for running over cattle.

As far as I am concerned criminal justice should be distributed justly 100% of the time regardless of a person’s public status. That should not be a factor in deciding upon the punishment they receive. I am quite frankly tired of reading about stars that spend 4 hours in a Los Angeles jail only to be released because of “severe overcrowding”. Overcrowding isn’t a new issue that has recently hit us. It’s a problem over here in England too, America. Did you let out the wrongly convicted people at the same time too? If overcrowding is the biggest problem the criminal justice system faces in not being able to keep the celebrities in jail, then I suggest they look to expand.

Is it not infuriating to know that you or I would be treated entirely differently to a Hollywood actor if we were facing punishment for the same crime? I’d bet my bottom dollar that us mere non-famous mortals would certainly receive a slight more than a slap on the wrist.

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