Mel Gibson Guilty of….What?

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on August 2nd, 2006

I gave an interview a couple of days ago to a reporter from a national news magazine.  He wanted to know, among other things, whether Mr. Gibson would get favorable treatment, whether he should be made an example of, and what kind of a jail sentence would probably be given; the issue of guilt was, apparently, not of interest.

I responded that the judges in Malibu Court were relatively fair and, unlike many others, would give him neither favorable treatment nor would they "make an example" of him.  Then what kind of a jail sentence would he likely get, the reporter wanted to know.  Well, that can't be predicted with certainty, but in my experience a first offender in Malibu with a .12% blood-alcohol and no prior conviction (Mr. Gibson's arrest in Toronto was 20 years ago and, in any event, was dismissed) would probably not get any jail time; he would basically get a fine, DUI school, suspended license and probation.  Certainly, his apologies and voluntary submission to rehabilitation would weigh in his favor.

But what about the anti-semitic remark? the reported continued. And the sexist statement?

I was a bit taken aback by those queries.  Of what possible relevance are ignorant remarks to the issue of whether a suspect has .12% blood alcohol in his system?  I asked him what he meant.

Well, he replied, won't there be some jail time for saying things like that?

I was slightly depressed for awhile after that interview.  But then, I thought, maybe this reporter wasn't really expressing the prevailing view in this country.  Then this morning I read a news story on CNN's website:

DA Considers Gibson DUI Charges

LOS ANGELES, August 1 (AP)Sheriff's Department officials sent prosecutors their drunken-driving case against Mel Gibson, including an official report that verifies the actor made anti-Semitic and sexist remarks, a law enforcement official said Monday…

The Sheriff's Department, spokesman Steve Whitmore said, was "convinced because of our investigation and because of his own self-illuminating statement that he will be convicted of driving under the influence."

So not only should he do jail time for making a bigoted remark, but such a "self-illuminating statement" ensures a conviction?  Now, Mr. Gibson may well be guilty based upon the evidence, but when did we start convicting people and throwing them in jail for being prejudiced?  And who among us can truly say we are without prejudice?

  • Ted Velvet

    Last night, august 2nd, Joe Scarborough on msnbc had one of his interns
    drink enough to get to a .12% BAC to show what a lame excuse alcohol
    was for Mel’s ant-semitic tirade.  That worked out all fine, the
    young man consumed about 4 drinks in an hour registered a .12% on a
    breathalyzer aministered by an actual deputy. The young man lucidly
    went on to say how 4 drinks is not enough alcohol to make you say
    really stupid stuff.  Joe Scarborough pointed out the young man
    wasn’t slurring his speech and the deputy related how the young man
    hadn’t mistyped a single word while blogging throughout the show. 
    To end the experiment, the test subject was given a field sobriety test
    which he passed.  The whole segment might have been engineered to
    make mel Gibson look like a jerk but all it really did was point out
    what a crock of shit the .08 legal limit is.  That kid on the show
    proved he wasn’t intoxicated but if he had been pulled over driving his
    life would have ruined. 

  • Judy

    I wonder if any investigations or tests have ever been done to determine if the mouth piece could be doctored with alcohol and how much it would change the readings.
    By taking a hyprodermic syringe and inserting it into the plastic wrapper that encloses the mouth piece, dispensing some alcohol into it.  Then limiting the suspects amount of choices to just a few, would certainly guarantee an arrest.  It would be almost undetectable by the person taking the test, especially if they did have just a few before.
    I would be curious to find out if this is possible and if it would alter the test results.
    I ask because I think it would, and I also think that it has been done to get the arrests.  To insure the financial stability of the unit…
    Oh please don’t say the cops would NOT do that, I know better as does everyone else, read the papers, they pull something new everyday.