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Get Out of Jail Free

I cheered with most of the world the return of Paris Hilton to jail (the issue of special treatment from the sheriff’s office is not over yet) — not because of any particular animosity against the celebrity, but rather from … Read More

By / June 14, 2007

I cheered with most of the world the return of Paris Hilton to jail (the issue of special treatment from the sheriff’s office is not over yet) — not because of any particular animosity against the celebrity, but rather from disgust at the despicable example celebrity DUI sets. While I am anxiously waiting for Jacques Chirac to confront the long line of prosecutors awaiting the obsolescence of his judicial immunity, a far more worrying trend in early release of criminals seems to be appearing: that of those convicted of crimes against humanity. Is it only because they are now old that we should release those imprisoned for such crimes?

Maurice Papon, a French official involved in the deportation of more than a thousand Jews, including women and children, was able to roam free after having served a minimal part of his sentence and without ever having been tried for his other crimes. A common feature of Papon and Nazi criminal Priebke (one of the main perpetrators of the Ardeatine Caves massacre), just released from an already lax house arrest, is that neither of the two ever expressed any remorse for their crimes. And it’s not like you could protest about it, either: Italy banned demonstrations over the pardon granted to Priebke, and France did not mind Papon being buried with a national decoration that had been officially taken away from him.

At least Hilton has the decency to claim that her jail time has shown her the error of her ways.

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