Murder, sexual assault, and drug possession are just a few of the heinous crimes famous people commit everyday. Celebrities do tend get away with more crimes than the average person, but the answer as to why they seem to get away with them is one most people would like the answer to. While the typical person can serve years on probation or in jail for an offense, celebrities have a tendency of getting out of the exact same legal situations with very little consequence and their livelihood barely impacted by the event. In criminal cases, celebrities and well known defendants are granted special access to imparcial trials and biased verdicts due to high placed connections, celebrity status and wealth, because it allows celebrities to get away with their crimes while the common man has to take responsibility for his actions and endure the consequences deemed necessary by the law. Whether the offender is in the entertainment business or a professional athlete, there is no doubt money talks in the legal world.
Stories about athletes like Kobe Bryant and Ben Roethlisberger, who have been accused of sexual assault more than once. Many times we hear about settlements being reached out of court between the defendant and the accuser. OJ Simpson can pay $33.5 million for murder, Bryant and Roethlisberger can pay women into silence and make their cases go away. This is because they have the ability to write checks for a million dollars and not face the harsh reality of their actions.
Celebrities continue to commit crimes because they have no reason to believe they will be punished for their acts. They figure why worry when they can write a check for a large amount of money and make the entire situation disappear. It is clear money is a huge factor in celebrities getting away with crimes. The ability to pay your way out of legal action and punishment is a luxury an average person does not have. This is proof that celebrities rarely receive an appropriate sentence thus contributing to their ability to get away with crime more easily.
The cases of the infamous Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan further support this claim. Richie was “arrested for DUI going the wrong way on a freeway” (Fox 3). Although this could have caused severe injury or even death to herself and other drivers on the road, she was released 82 minutes later due to “over-crowding” in the jail. For a first DUI offense in Texas, the average person spends the night in jail, ends up with three years of probation, up to $2000 in fines, four months of alcohol classes, and an immediate 90 day license suspension (What Are The Penalties For DWI In Texas 1).
This proves how one’s celebrity status can allow them to bypass the consequences of their crimes. Like Ritchie, Lindsay Lohan has been arrested numerous times for DUIs along with drug possession. Her sentence was only one day in jail and 10 days community service. Even though these celebrities continuously commit these unlawful acts, it does not stop them from getting invited to exclusive parties, award shows, and big roles in movies and television shows. Their lifestyles and careers are not impacted by their legal troubles. They continue making the same mistakes because they know the consequences will not be severe; a fan of Lohan could be amongst the jury members. The judge and jury could be bias of not wanting to convict a celebrity that aids these people in getting away with crimes. For average felons, their crimes make it so they can barely get a job and financially support themselves.
Society makes it very hard for the common man to reintegrate back into society after being charged with felony crimes. Felons who are determined to turn their life around struggle, whereas celebrities continue to receive sports and movie contracts and at the same time continue breaking the law. After an extensive study of celebrities getting out of crimes with lenient punishments, Arthur Aidala makes the conclusion that, “if you got enough money and you’re famous you can get out of just about anything”. The worst part is, he is right (Miller 1). In many cases people will state that the celebrity life from what we can gleam from is an intriguing existence. A “life of privilege and cut-throat scrutiny” and that there are “certain distinctions between how a celebrity and a non-celebrity live their lives” (Mark 1).
Some might think celebrities are so deep into their fame that they lack the trait of accountability, making them not know that what they have done is wrong. This results in them not knowing how or why they should be under intense criticism. Despite the bad judgement and ignorance, It is still unacceptable to commit such crimes. These people can make excuses and deny responsibility, but everyone knows the difference between right and wrong. These celebrities use “life of privilege” and “shielded from the real world” as a free pass to receive lighter sentences and impartial trials. It is as if the United States Justice System is a game of Monopoly, and they have just drawn a get out of jail free card.Without any doubts, as long as you have money, fame, and power you can bypass even the United States justice system system. Even though it happens that does not make it right.
What does the press coverage of celebrities committing crimes and being released with very little consequence say to the youth? I know that children look up to these Hollywood bad girls and famous sports stars and realize that if you have the money and looks, you can get away with anything; in fact, your image can even be helped. This is not the kind of message we should be sending the people of the future. Justice should be equal in all parts of the law, regardless of your status or the amount of money in your bank account. There is no doubt in my mind that money, lighter sentences, and lasting impact are many factors that contribute to a celebrity’s ability to get away with crime and show that one lenient set of laws for the famous and a harsher set of laws for everyone else. There is a dire need for the “just” to be put back in the phrase “justice system”.
“Do Celebrities Get Away with More Crime?” Debate.org,www.debate.org/opinions/do-celebrities-get-away-with-more-crime. Mark, Chris.
“The Curious Case of Celebrity Accountability: Our Amusing Inconsistency with What We Demand From Celebrities.” Newslogue, 2016, www.newslogue.com/debate/72/ChrisMark.Miller, Tony.
“25 Celebrities Who Got Away With Major Crimes Thanks To Top Defense Lawyers.” JellyShare, www.jellyshare.com/article-137/25-celebrities-who-got-away-with-major-crimes-thanks-to-top-defense-lawyers.htm.
“What Are The Penalties For DWI In Texas – Trichter & LeGrand.” Texas DWI Law, Trichter & LeGrand, www.texasdwilaw.com/what-are-the-penalties-for-dwi/.