Too famous for jail

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Being rich and famous is now a legally acceptable excuse for avoiding jail time in Australia, where convicted radio talkshow host John Laws was given a cushy suspended sentence on the basis that he was too wealthy to fine and too famous to imprison, according to the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD.

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Laws was convicted of soliciting information from a juror in a 1998 murder trial about how the jury had reached its decision — a crime that could bring up to seven years in prison in Australia.

However, the judge ruled that, Laws’ “high profile” status made him a target for “personal injury or worse” if sentenced to jail. Even home detention would be too much, as is it would “risk attracting the derision of the community.”

In a sidenote, Robert Downey, Jr. reportedly just purchased a house in Melbourne.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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