Found in violation of the terms of her probation and sentenced to 90 days, the actress feels that the criminal justice system has been too strict with her and used her Twitter account to link a Cato Institute paper on the federal sentencing guidelines. Unfortunately for her cause, the guidelines are of doubtful relevance to her complaint. Washington Post “Reliable Sources” columnist Roxanne Roberts and Washington Examiner “Yeas and Nays” columnist Nikki Schwab quote me on the subject.
As I noted, ordinary non-celebrity defendants who get into less serious legal trouble very often encounter harsher consequences than has Lohan. The Washington Post itself reported a few years ago, for example, on some of the life-upending consequences of DUI first offenses for persons with otherwise clean legal records. Cato’s Tim Lynch has some further thoughts. More: David Lat, Above the Law.
P.S. Patrick at Popehat seems to find something incongruous in my stepping into a role as commentator on Lohan’s legal spinout. All snark aside, I did think she did a fine job in The Parent Trap. P.P.S. And so does the daughter of Washington & Lee professor Erik Luna, author of the Cato paper in question.