CELEBRITIES vs. CITIZENS
Drunk driving is a serious crime that holds many offenses. Some of these offenses include license restrictions, fines, and mandatory attendance of “Alcoholics Anonymous” meetings, community service, or probation. Some jurisdictions even sentence drunk drivers to serve jail time. The justice system is very unfair when it comes to the sentencing of theses crimes when convicting celebrities compared to the average person. Paris Hilton, for example, committed her first DUI offense. Instead of Paris receiving an appropriate punishment for drinking under the influence, Paris received a slap on the wrist and a small fine. It is because the justice system is crooked, and holds celebrities at a higher standard than your average person. Lindsay Lohan has had several encounters with the police within 4 months for DUI. She has numerous DUI and drug charges. Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, R. Kelley are celebrities, they get preferential treatment, whereas a common citizen like Genarlow Wilson and James Burton get maximum sentencing for minor crimes. When it comes down to it, is it fair to be more lenient on a celebrity vs. an ordinary person like you and me breaking the law? This is the moral question at hand. I believe most of us in this room would agree that they are not above the law and should not be allowed to buy their freedom. It appears to me that the judges presiding over these cases are taking the celebrities career into consideration. But the same consideration is not given when you or I go before the judge and we are sentenced 10 days or more in jail. They don’t look at the bigger picture of how much damage has been done in reference to me having a job when I get out, and I would like to bring two recent cases to your attention that have been in the public’s eye. He was good in sports and he maintained a 3.2 GPA. He had no criminal history. In 2003, following a New Year’s Eve party at a Douglas County hotel room, he was videotaped having sex with a 17 year old girl and then having oral sex with a 15 year old girl. This party is a party he will never forget. The next morning the 17 year old woke up with a hang over and said she had been raped. On February 25, 2005, Wilson was acquitted for the rape of the 17 year old girl but, was sentenced 10 years with one year of probation for aggravated child molestation for having oral sex with the 15 year old. Now, according to the video, both sex acts were consensual, and neither asked him to stop. The 15 year old repeatedly told the authorities that the oral sex was consensual, but in the state of Georgia, during this time, the consent of a minor would only be considered if it was vaginal sex. Wilson was offered a plea deal in the very beginning, but he turned it down. They were offering him five years with possibility of parole before trial, and he would have to register as a sex offender. Shortly after his conviction, the law was changed. Now this act would be treated as a misdemeanor, and it would carry the maximum one-year sentence with no sex offender registration. Wilson’s attorney filed an appeal to have his conviction overturned under the new law. On October 26, 2007 Georgia State Supreme Court ruled that Wilson’s sentence was cruel and unusual. He was released the next day after serving two years. Now, I failed to mention the two other young men who were charged with the same thing. They took the plea deal. One was released two years later, but now he is a registered sex offender. caselaw.findlaw.com/ga-court-of-appeals/1581814.html Now let’s talk about the one and only R. Kelly, the R&B superstar. His real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly born in Chicago, Illinois, on January 8, 1967. Allegations of Kelly’s sexual activity with underage girls date back as far as 1991. In 1994 a rumor surfaced that 27 year old R. Kelly and 15 year old Aaliyah had secretly married. Although both denied these allegations, “VIBE” magazine published a...
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