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Stealing: Bad – Fashion: Good

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I apologize for doing commentary on commentary, but the coverage of the Winona Ryder has focused on two main themes: fashion and jail time, neither of which has had much to do with the case. Winona, a wealthy youngish movie star, dressed appropriately for her trial – this is shocking? Did they expect loud colors and polyester? mid ’80s Madonna? revealing evening gowns? Christina Aguilera alley-slut? Surely not – she dressed exactly as one would have expected her to: no news there.

Then there is the matter of jail. Every account I have read of the trial ends with something like: “if convicted she faces up to three years behind bars.” This is patently false. She never faced even the remote possibility of jail time. The prosecution has said all along that they wouldn’t recommend jail: Ryder is a first time offender, didn’t commit a violent crime, is not a threat to herself or society. So statements about jail were purely disingenuous dramatic devices – the press wouldn’t do something like that, would they?

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