Liberation of Paris: Hilton Leaves Jail for Home

He also said if another person, or a noncelebrity, had the same medical problem as Hilton, he or she would also have been allowed to serve time at home.

Whitmore added, "She has paid her debt to society."


According to statistics from the Bureau of Justice, in December 2005 there were 2.1 million prisoners in federal and state prisons, and local jails. And of those imprisoned, many also had "medical conditions," just as Hilton reportedly had. In 2004, there were more than 6,000 people in prison with AIDS. That year, 204 of people with AIDS in prison died there.

Los Angeles defense attorney Dana Cole finds the ruling outrageous, and that if there was a true medical emergency Hilton should have gone to the hospital.

Cole said, "Many of my clients had all sorts of medical problems and never got out of jail. … One client [had] a grotesque staph infection that was eating away at his leg -- this is common in jail. I tried desperately but could not get him out of jail."

Molly Goodson, the editor of the celebrity news blog, said the crying effort to get out of jail was part of Hilton's plan all along.

"It was a strategy. … She knew going into it there was a chance she'd get out early. It was the same jail that allowed [Michelle] Rodriguez to leave after three hours of her sentence," Goodson told ABC News.

Setting an Example?

Strategy or no strategy, Hilton made her exit early this morning.

With the initial sentencing, Judge Michael T. Sauer seemed to be setting an example -- celebdom won't protect famous and wealthy people from incarceration.

But Hilton's reassignment to house arrest suggests this is far from the case.

Goodson said, "If you are going to make an example of someone, make the example."

Hilton was sentenced to jail in May for violating her probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case, and she started her sentence Sunday night, a minute before midnight, and not without fanfare. First, she attended MTV's Movie Awards, where she was even roasted by the show's host Sarah Silverman.

According to her lawyer, Hilton was holding up in prison after her first night. But her condition deteriorated and rumors spread of her incessant crying, two psychiatric visits, lack of sleep and not eating.

Now Hilton's back at home, and the crying has probably stopped. She's reunited with her pet Chihuahuas and enjoying the comforts of her home.

Did she learn a lesson?

"It's hard to say if she's going to take anything from this. ... Maybe she will learn something, that she should get a chauffeur," Goodson joked.

Hilton likes to see and be seen, and the party will probably come to her for the next 40 days. She was spotted toting the Bible before she went to prison, but it's doubtful Hilton's 40 days will be anything like those in the Bible.

ABC's Pierre Thomas and Lauren Pearle contributed to this report.

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