Voice of Utah (voiceofutah) wrote,
Voice of Utah

Utahns sticking up for poor celebrity lawbreakers

Sitting here in a hotel room, working really hard, not watching the Jazz game at all, the thought suddenly came to mind that Baron Davis shouldn't even be in tonight's game, but the NBA doesn't care that he threw an intentional elbow at Derek Fisher's face.  They let it go because of who he is, the gutless greedy wonders.

But hey, it's not the first time that someone has received special treatment because of who he or she is.  Ex-Salt Lake County Mayor Nancy "Scarface" Workman, for example, was allowed to smile in her mug shot, when plain ordinary arrestees are not. There's just something about celebrities, it seems.  Consider:

Last week on CNN's Nancy Grace program, local attorney Greg Skordas argued that poor Paris Hilton shouldn't go to the slammer for 45 days just because she violated probation a couple of times.  Lighten up, Judge!  From the transcript:

    GRACE: Out to Greg Skordas, a very astute trial lawyer out of Salt Lake City. In a DUI, when you violate twice, it is not unusual to go to jail, so all this business about unfair treatment is complete BS.

    GREG SKORDAS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I disagree with that, Nancy. When you have a first offense -- and this was actually reduced from a DUI down to an alcohol-related reckless driving. It was a no contest plea. She was placed on probation, a typical sentence for someone who violates. And this was a -- not necessarily a technical violation, but she drove her car while she shouldn`t have been. It`s not like...

    GRACE: Twice.

    SKORDAS: ... she got another DUI or hurt someone...

    GRACE: Twice.

    SKORDAS: ... would have been 48 hours in jail.

    GRACE: Twice.

    SKORDAS: ... some additional probation, an additional fine or take a class or something like that...
Yeah, make her take a class or something!  That'll show her!  We're sure that's what would happen to us ordinary probation violators...

Meanwhile, another Utah attorney is also pushing an "it's just the law--who cares?" argument lately.  Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, the state's chief prosecutor, has taken it upon himself to help out Duane Chapman, TV's "Dog the Bounty Hunter."  Chapman, a bounty hunter who tracks down scumbags who skip bail, has . . . skipped bail.  But wait--there's a difference, Shurtleff says:  Chapman was in Mexico and violated Mexican law, not American law.  That doesn't count, apparently, which should come as some relief to Mexican citizens who break American law while in America.

True, Shurtleff might seem to be setting bad precedent with his effort, but this case is especially important to Utahns.  After all, Dog is from Utah--oh, he's not?  Well, he has tracked down several dangerous Utah criminals--he hasn't?  Um, well, people in Utah have watched him on televison, anyway--more than enough to invoke the Celebrity Exemption.



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