Is a Stint in Jail in the Offing for Lindsay Lohan?
When Lindsay Lohan failed to attend a court mandated probation progress hearing on May 20, 2010, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Marsha Revel issued a bench warrant for her. After she posted additional bail, Judge Revel ordered her to wear a SCRAM device as a condition of her release.
That Lohan remains on probation for two DUI offenses dating back to the summer of 2007 is a testament to the rigidity of our judicial system, the personal shortcomings of Judge Revel, and Lohan’s refusal to abide by her probation conditions by completing an alcohol education program. That Lohan has spent weeks in various rehabilitative settings – where presumably she would have been thoroughly educated on the dangers of alcoholism – is, Judge Revel’s opinion, irrelevant. For Judge Revel is not so much interested in Lohan’s rehabilitation as she is in Lohan’s compliance with her order.
Judge Revel’s unshakable resolve is typical of judges presiding in our courts, particularly female judges. Few female judges take things in stride – and the ones who can are almost always outstanding jurists. But the schoolmarms insist on unhesitating obedience and displays of “respect” bordering on obsequiousness. They are not jurists reasonably applying the law to facts; instead, they are self-appointed super mothers using their nearly unchecked power to intimidate, scold and punish the errant toddlers brought before them. To these women, and perhaps many male judges, their job consists of separating criminal defendants into two groups: good boys and girls who have made a mistake or did a bad thing and bad boys and girls who are, simply, bad. For the “bad” the punishment is often unremitting, intended to convert them into good boys and girls or, failing that, to terrorize them into submission.
And for someone with Judge Revel’s limited mindset, Lindsay Lohan is an unrepentant, eye-rolling bad girl. Unless Lohan completes the alcohol education course before she is due back in court and remains alcohol and drug free, Judge Revel will send her to jail. Her criminal defense lawyer will be unable to convince the judge to do otherwise.
Lindsay is not, however, a bad girl. She’s a victim – her successes, celebrity, and money notwithstanding. In my seventeen years as a criminal defense lawyer, very few of the young women I have represented had a healthy relationship with their fathers. More often than not they have described their fathers as absent, alcoholic, or abusive. Given that Lohan’s father, Michael J. Lohan, has a well-documented history of alcoholism, served committed time and bottom feeds on his daughter’s notoriety, it is not surprising that Lindsay Lohan has struggled. Whatever her decision, Judge Revel cannot fill Lohan’s void, heal her wounds, or help her reclaim her life by sending her to prison.