Regardless of who you are, what you do for a living and how much people love you, jail is a place that you go if you do something wrong. But having some celebrity status sometimes seems to help someone get a much lesser sentence, let along having anything close to a maximum sentence in jail. That’s because celebrities seem to have very short visits in prison for what they’ve done that some wonder if there was a legitimate judge overseeing the case.
Not every celebrity is that lucky, but a good portion of them don’t see much time behind bars for things like minor crimes that the regular person reading this would likely see 30 days or a few months for their conviction. Many of us have come to accept that society doesn’t want their A-list stars being in the same cells as regular criminals; the question becomes how much are they allowed to get away with.
The goal of a prison stay is to help rehabilitate those who break the law and help them learn from their mistakes. But how well does a famous person with an extremely short jail sentence learn? It’s almost like trying to cram an entire 16-week college course in a day or two (granted, that has been done before). So why even send them to prison in the first place?
The following are 10 of the shortest jail stints that would have been better served doing community service. Note, don’t try any of the following crimes since 99 percent of you are not of the same celebrity status as these 10 subjects.
10) Paris Hilton, 23 total days
The initial punishment for driving without a valid driver’s license was supposed to be 45 days; it was revoked due to her having been charged for a second DUI violation. But after only five days, she was released from jail. This led to a very vocal outcry from the American public for her being given special treatment.
This led to a judge made her have to return to the prison to serve the rest of her 45-day sentence. But she was once again allowed to leave after just 18 days – this time due to overcrowding of the prison. If you think that is a short amount of time, the other nine celebrities on this list combined have spent less time in jail than Hilton’s 23 days.
9) Paul McCartney, nine days
While the current generation of music lovers may not know a whole lot about the former Beatles star; other than a brief collaboration with Kanye West; but many of us born before the late 1990s are aware of his status and so did a judge in 1980. The situation arose when McCartney was arrested at an airport in Tokyo, Japan, with half a pound of marijuana; he was just going to walk onto the plane without making too much of an effort to hide the weed.
The maximum sentence for such an offense at the time was seven years in jail, but the judge only gave him a nine-day sentence. On top of the brief visit, the mug shot taken before going to jail was reportedly used as the inspiration for a cover of one of McCartney’s solo albums.