The benefits of being famous

I just read on the BBC News site that Wesley Snipes has been sentenced to three years in jail for being famous. OK, so not quite true but close enough. His actual charges were tax evasion but the judge stated that an example had to be made of him as he was famous, despite being of good character.

Isn’t this just a little bit unfair? Surely a person should be judged and sentenced based purely on the circumstances, severity and so forth of the crime involved and on their past behaviour, risk of re-offending and so forth?

The other thing that niggles me is the large sentence for what’s effectively a white collar crime – a financial one. A financial one in which the government were the victim. How come stars who drink-drive or get caught in some drugs scandal don’t get similar harsh treatment? Is it just the fact that the taxman’s involved which gets the stakes raised as they want to frighten people into giving them money?

I just find it rather… well, amusing isn’t the right word, but – bonkers that a corrupt government can kick up a stink about not getting their cash so much when there are far more serious crimes being committed. Face it, the US government wouldn’t miss Snipes’ back-taxes if they weren’t haemorrhaging cash in the Middle East courtesy of the  Midget Oil Baron Of Doom who’s currently ensconced in the White House.

Or maybe Snipes just had a **** lawyer and should have got the one who got Kiefer Sutherland down to 48 days for drink-driving. A sentence he was going to serve in fits and starts around filming until the writer’s strike screwed him over.