Lindsay Lohan’s legal woes

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.


  • […] what I read this morning: supremely erudite Cato Institute scholar Walter Olson, commenting on Lindsay Lohan’s Twitter feed.  Though the two seem to be ideological twins, Olson is critical of Lohan’s research […]

  • Since the story going around is that she is marketing her post jail (23 days it sounds like) interview for a million buck I wonder if someone could find a way to hit her with more.

    Also, two DUI, plus drugs and she gets 90 because she didnt use her 114 chances to complete alcohol treatment? Bitch please.

  • That’s 180 days actually with 90 in residential treatment mandated as well. 6 months in custody.

    As to other first timers getting the same or harsher sentencing, does the fact that aberrant sentencing is not unique make it justice?

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