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Friday, December 23, 2005
What Kobe Bryant Avoided

I just happened across a year-old Kobe Bryant article by Dave Zirin (who I don't know much about but I do know that he always seems to have a lot of strong opinions about politics). Zirin writes that Kobe Bryant spent up to $10 million on the legal team that helped him avoid a rape conviction. According to Zirin's research, if Bryant had not had that team, these are some of the things he would have gone through:
...the NBA All-Star would have been given what is called a "penile plethysmograph test." The PPT, which plays a determining role for sentencing, involves fitting an electric measuring band around the penis and connecting this apparatus to a computer. Then Kobe would be shown films of graphic sexual violence and illegal pornography as the computer gauges his level of "arousal and deviancy".

Former head of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Dan Recht described this "program" to SI's Rick Reilly as "Kind of Clockwork Orangish." That's a bit of an understatement. It sounds more like Abu Ghraib as run by Clarence Thomas...

For Bryant, raised in Italy, the son of a globe trotting professional basketball player, a Colorado Maximum Security Prison would be a rude awakening. For the first year, "he [would] be in a cell 23 hours out of 24," explains Denver trial attorney Bob McAllister. "He's famous so the guards will make sure there's no appearance of favoritism. They'll probably be harder on him, full-body cavity searches, just to show him he isn't anything special."

Man, why does the corrections industry have such an obsession with orifices and privates? Is that making anyone anywhere any safer or happier?