Why charging Justin with a felony doesn't matter

For everyone who hoped that Justin Bieber would leave his crazy antics in 2013 behind, it seems he's determined to make 2014 more of the same. On January 9, the retired-not-retired pop star egged his neighbor's house with about 20 eggs, according to said neighbor. TMZ, whose job it is to record all of Bieber's worst moments, obtained a video from the neighbor where you can hear the sound of eggs splattering and profanity laced arguments being thrown from the neighbor to Bieber. Bieber (I assume, although the video is dark and you can't actually see that it's him) says in response, "I've got another one for you!" Eventually the neighbor told his daughter to call the police who came to assess the damage and put Bieber down for a misdemeanor. The neighbor is citing over $400 in damage though, which would increase Bieber's actions to a felony. FELONIES ARE A BIG DEAL. Except if you're a celebrity. Whether he gets hit with a felony or not, it's going to make exactly zero difference. Justin Bieber is exempt from the law because he's famous. You all know how this works. Celebrities can basically do anything including murdering someone (hello O.J.) and get off with relatively little damage. Like the time he was charged for vandalism in Brazil, Bieber will likely get off with only a fine to pay.

So what does this teach Justin "omelette arm" Bieber? Absolutely nothing. When you don't get in trouble for the things you do wrong, it's hard to learn from them. He's been a walking example of that for the whole of last year. As he made mistake after mistake, from dissing Bill Clinton, to smuggling a monkey, to hitting up a brothel, he's shown that he doesn't make great choices. And yes, there's the argument that he grew up in the public eye and that puts pressure on him and he's just a teenager yadda yadda, but the bottom line isn't that he's making mistakes, it's that he continues to make them at the expense of others, with no consequences for his actions.

And it's not just Bieber, it's the Hollywood culture. It's how singers can literally do drugs in videos and get away with it. It's how when a celebrity is actually placed in jail it's a cushy prison where they get to hang out and do yoga and they don't usually stay there long anyway. Among the perks of being a celebrity is immunity to the law. One thing I loved about Reese Witherspoon's 2013 arrest is that she was actually arrested. And look, I love Reese, but she deserved to be arrested. When she pulled the "Do you know my name?" card we all collectively shuddered, but the policeman was having none of it, thank goodness. She broke the law, and like any normal citizen she was punished accordingly. She made the rounds after that incident apologizing to her fans and to the officer for her behavior, for her husband drinking and driving, etc. Perhaps this is just because she's a classy lady, but it's also because she was told it was wrong. If the police officer had let her off maybe she would have allowed her husband to drink and drive again, but now after that experience I'm sure she will think twice before repeating those actions.

That's the kind of example the law should set. It's not about "Kids, don't buy drugs, become a pop star and they give you them for free" as Love Actually poked fun at. It should be about setting an example for the millions of Bieber fans out there to watch him get slapped with a felony and actually do the prison time. Kids should be made to see that there are consequences for their actions. Until that happens, celebrities like Justin Bieber are going to continue their antics, because why should they stop?

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