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Should celebrities who break the law face stricter penalties?

Equal justice is a hollow term which many talk about but are not willing to follow. When someone breaks the law, there is always a part of the population that wishes that person gets severely punished. However, the situation gets reversed when that person happens to belong to their family or community. Why the double standard? Exactly how different is one delinquent from another? The answer does not differ much. People feel that some lawbreakers should be given stricter penalties just because they are afraid of how it would affect their personal lives. The case is similar as far as celebrities are concerned. A celebrity is a person famous for his/ her talents and it is the public which gives these well-known personalities that status. For example, when an actor, who has just joined the film industry, manages to get the audience to like his very first movie, his fans enthusiastically put him on a pedestal and start to build expectations. The blunder made here is that these expectations are not always related to the professional abilities of the celebrity. Rather, people turn the celebrities into role models and choose to let a stranger influence their life. We often forget that it does not take a celebrity to influence someones decisions. Anybody can own up to that responsibility. Their title does not make them any different from the others. Yet, they are judged more often about their wrongdoings simply because they happen to be in the limelight most of the time. Taking into account several Hollywood celebrities, I can comprehend how difficult a time they must have had with all the extra interest from the media looking into their run-in with the law. Had they not been a public figure, the people would have cut them some slack. Celebrities are what they are because they excel at certain things. When they decide to go public with their talents or ideas, they do not sign up for being somebodys role model and face criticisms whenever they take a wrong step. But people are adamant and quickly jump to conclusions. And this mentality makes them promote a celebrity to a level which is more superhuman in nature. When it comes to breaking the law, nobody should get to walk away from punishment. But that does not mean certain people should face the consequences more severely than others who commit the same offence. The law should appropriate the punishment according to the degree of crime committed and not according to the status of a person. The punishment should fit the crime. If it varies from community to community then it underlines the shortcomings of the system.

Shruti Venugopalan DM14145 We cannot expect perfect behaviour from all human beings. The only reason why offences committed by a well-known person are condemned is because the public thinks people look up to them and hence, expects them to be more cautious about their actions. Media focus on celebrity life is high. Their actions are often exaggerated and projected by the media which makes the public judge them more harshly. Even the law-enforcing authorities treat them differently at times; staggering under public pressure. But we should keep in mind that if they happen to influence our life in any way, it is because we let ourselves be influenced. On the other hand, there are times when it is the other way around. Popular individuals, who have broken the law, get to walk away with impunity while the commoners face the heat for committing the same offence. When I say that celebrities who break the law should not face stricter penalties, I do not mean that they should be punished any less. This is where equal punishment comes into effect. Many a times we have seen celebrities create a ruckus, drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, break airport customs law, get involved in assault and create a scene for not having given special treatment. Yet, in some cases, the only closest thing they get for a punishment is that they are either pestered by the media for a period of time or they get sent to a rehabilitation facility to correct their behaviour. Their getting away from punishment is a fault that lies on the authorities. Loopholes in the law give some people enough reason to turn a blind eye to such an unfair system of justice. Looking at the bigger picture, why is there a need to punish an individual more strictly than what the law actually commands? This is also a form of discrimination which all societies should avoid. One does not learn anything from the extreme sides of the law- too lenient or too harsh. A law that is more lenient on one group than the other will still affect both sides. Same goes for a law which is harder on some as compared to others. Either way, there will always be a part of the wrongdoers who would face the brunt of the unfair system. Thus, making a celebrity face stricter penalties is unwarranted. We belong to the same world and deserve the same dues.