Science News You Can Use
Inspired by the light prison sentences given to celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan, Hollywood defense attorneys are rapidly adopting “nanotechnology” to help reduce potential sentences even more. Many scientists use nanotechnology to produce particles that are about one billionth of a meter, also called a nanometer. Such products are used in a variety of products and services from windows to sunscreen to environmental cleanup.
The environmental cleanup angle is what got green-sensitive Hollywood interested in new applications of “nano.” According to famed Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Tribe, even criminal sentences for drug abuse, repeat drunk driving arrests, and other crimes that would land an ordinary citizen in jail for a long time can be given “nano scale” to Hollywood celebrities. The ultimate goal is the “nanofelony.” Since a felony is at least a year in jail, a “nanofelony is 0.0315 seconds, or one billionth of a year (0.0316 seconds during leap year).” According to actor Leonardo diCaprio, “this shows that those of us in show business understand high technology the same way we understand the science behind global climate.”
It is also possible that these advances will inspire the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to create an award for legal defense. Based on diCaprio’s comment, “if Al Gore can receive an Oscar, anything is possible.”
The campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton is working hard behind the scenes to line up Hollywood support by making quiet promises of appointing judges who believe in nanosentencing. The Hillary! Campaign is working hard to counter possible inroads into Hollywood support by the campaign of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. It is believed that Sen. Clinton does have an advantage, since under her husband’s administration, Attorney General Janet Reno employed an early version of “nanoprosecution” of crimes committed by many Clinton supporters.
Major sports figures are very interested in this concept as well. Lawyers for Barry Bonds are believed to be negotiating a “nanomarathon” plea deal. Since a marathon is 26 miles, 385 yards, a “nanomarathon” is 0.0422 millimeters. Combined with a “nanofelony,” this becomes 1.34 mm/second, or about 15.8 feet/hour “hard running.” While even many left-wing law professors think this is reasonable, prosecutors still fear litigation from the American Civil Liberties Union on the grounds of “cruel and unusual punishment.”
Coincidentally, a lawyer formerly associated with O.J. Simpson’s defense team was heard to mutter, “Why didn’t we think of that?”