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Friday, April 25, 2008

Unsupported Statements of the Day (Which I Still Happen to Believe Quite Strongly), Pt. 1

In no way did Wesley Snipes deserve a three year sentence for misdemeanor charges of failure to file his taxes--and a piss poor way of saying thanks for the $5,000,000 in checks that he handed over before sentencing in an effort to show that not only had he learned his lesson, but that he had a newfound willingness to pony up.

As a bonus, I’m also pretty leery of government agents and agencies when they are looking to prosecute harshly in an effort to send a message to the rest of us. That is, quite baldly, a threat. Honestly, I don’t mind “We think it sends a real message” when it’s in the form of high explosives dropped in the laps of terrorists or long sentences doled out to murderers. This doesn’t quite qualify, though, does it?

It’s extremely rare to see a criminal prosecution like this (and remember that Snipes was acquitted of the harshest of the charges) and the prosecution admits to using Snipes’ celebrity to make a point to the rest of us--essentially delivering a different standard of justice to Snipes than I would have faced if I had made the same exceptionally bad decisions as the actor. It rankles when celebrities are given a free pass for stupid (and occasionally criminal) behavior; it’s no less wrong when celebrities are unfairly made into legal targets because of their social standing.

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