Thursday, June 07, 2007

Paris Hilton precedent rocks justice system

Paris reunited with Tinkerbell
Paris Hilton "cracked" after three days in Los Angeles County Jail.

On Monday, after 24 hours in the women's jail, Paris "was doing well under the circumstances," according to her lawyer, but her condition began to crumble later that day.

(Warning: irony turned off.) The medical director for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services was called in, and certified that Paris simply could not go on. "She has fulfilled her obligation," said Steve Whitmore, the department’s spokesman. "She has paid her debt to society." (Irony turned back on.)

"I believe she has learned her lesson," said Children and Family Services Director Trish Ploehn. "Five days of separation from her beloved chihuahua, Tinkerbell, was punishment enough. Now is the time for compassion. We need to start rebuilding Ms. Hilton's self-esteem so she can be a functioning member of society again."

So, after five days of her 45-day sentence, Paris is under house arrest, but she has to wear an ankle tracking bracelet so police will know if she strays beyond her Tuscan-style villa in a gated community in the Hollywood Hills. Her customized 400-square-foot wardrobe is 13 times the average living space allocated for one prisoner in most U.S. prisons.

"I did have a choice to go to a pay jail," Hilton said Sunday (real quote). "But I declined because I feel like the media portrays me in a way that I'm not and that's why I wanted to go to county [jail], to show that I can do it and I'm going to be treated like everyone else.

"I'm going to do the time, I'm going to do it the right way."

The problem, sources said, was that Paris just couldn't sleep and began to cry. We all know the havoc just one sleepless night can wreak on your face, not to mention your hair. And once the crying started, it was simply impossible to maintain her makeup.

Sources close to the heiress suggest the real crash didn't happen until Paris realized there was no manicurist on the staff, and that she had only one choice of dessert at dinner.

"Her TV screen was only 27 inches wide," said a family friend. "And there were no premium channels, just basic cable. She had to watch 'Sopranos' reruns on A & E! They even refused her request to install a gas-plasma TV at her own expense. When you're living in a small space, a flat-panel screen is just common sense. What were they thinking?"

County medical officials said they began to fear for the heiress' safety. "She was mutilating her own body," one source said. "On Wednesday morning she applied a dark cappuccino lipstick when the contrast between the wall color and her complexion clearly called for terracotta or a lighter beige. We felt she was in danger."

It was reportedly her jailers who demanded Hilton's immediate release, however. "At first she was tolerable," one prison guard reportedly said. "But then the crying started. First there were long sighs. I knew she was in trouble. Then she started to sniffle. Her lower lip began to tremble and she was clearly downcast. Her pouting degenerated quickly into pining, and then the tears started falling and it was boo-hoo-hoo nonstop for hours on end. You have no idea how that sounded! After two days I was praying to die."

Legal observers believe the county's show of leniency will set a precedent for other prisoners having difficulty adjusting to life behind bars.

Lawyers for convicted mass murderer Charles Manson—who was denied parole for the 11th time on May 23—say they'll try the "Hilton Gambit" next time. "Charlie's hair is a mess," said one close friend. "He can't stop crying. The authorities won't let a professional tattooist properly maintain the swastika in his forehead. They took away his pet Affenpinscher. He can't sleep and he's allergic to the chemicals they use to clean his toilet."

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