Hilton, originally sentenced for breaking her probation on a reckless driving conviction, is currently in the Los Angeles Twin Towers jail where she is going under a medical and psychiatric evaluation. But her case has raised many questions about "celebrity" and equal treatment under the law.
She began serving her sentence Sunday, just hours after posing on the red carpet at a glitzy awards show. After three nights in the county jail she was "reassigned" and sent home to finish her sentence. A cry of public outrage followed.
There were charges of celebrity-justice. Robbie Davenport, former inmate, says "today is my 46th day. So I did 45 of 90, like she was supposed to do 23 of 45. And I'm just not as privileged as her."
There were also charges of racial injustice. Al Sharpton, National Action Network, says "she wouldn't have gotten this treatment if she was a poor white woman."
The next time the public saw the celebrity-heiress, she was in handcuffs and being driven back to court under orders from an angry judge who was unaware she'd been released.
There was a media frenzy, and reports that the celebrity bad-girl was getting her come-uppance. But Sheriff Baca sees it differently. He says Paris Hilton had stopped taking medication while in jail, and that hastened her "inexplicable" psychological deterioration.
The jail-psychologist suggested she finish her sentence at home. The Superior court judge wasn't buying it and he ordered Hilton back to prison to finish her sentence.
Some legal observers say her sentence was severe from the start. Dana Coles, defense attorney, says "most people who are punished for driving on a suspended license get a few days in jail but mostly get community service or other alternatives to jail."
A fact echoed by the Sheriff. Lee Baca, Los Angeles County Sheriff, says "It isn't unreasonable to say 5 days is a pretty good sentence for a crime, where ordinarily she'd serve no days."
A day after a tearful Paris Hilton was ordered back to jail, the hotel heiress said she won't appeal her 45-day jail sentence and is "learning and growing" from her time behind bars.
Her change of heart came Saturday when she announced in a statement released by one of her attorneys that she won't fight her sentence after a brief stint under house arrest at her Hollywood Hills home.
"Today, I told my attorneys not to appeal the judge's decision," Hilton said in the statement. "While I greatly appreciate the sheriff's concern for my health and welfare, I intend to serve my time at L.A. County Jail."
The celebutante was at a maximum-security detention center, where she was believed to be undergoing medical and psychiatric evaluations to determine the best jail to keep her in as she serves the rest of her sentence.
Hilton, in tears and screaming for her mother, was taken to the downtown Twin Towers facility Friday afternoon after Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer ordered her back to jail.
"Being in jail is by far the hardest thing I have ever done," she said in the statement. "During the past several days, I have had a lot of time to think and I believe that I am learning and growing from this experience."
Hilton added she was "shocked" by the attention her case has received and suggested the public and media focus on "more important things like the men and women serving our country in Iraq."
Her lawyers had sought to keep her out of jail on grounds that the 26-year-old was suffering an unspecified medical condition. Sauer suggested that could be taken care of at jail medical facilities.
Although authorities wouldn't discuss Hilton's condition, citing privacy laws, Sheriff Lee Baca indicated it was psychological.
He said she arrived at her original jail with a condition he hadn't been apprised of and that it immediately began to deteriorate to the point that he feared for her safety.
Sheriff's officials expect Hilton to be at Twin Towers at least through Sunday.
Which jail the heiress will end up at depends on the results of her assessment by the facility's doctors.
Sauer sentenced Hilton to 45 days in jail and said she could not serve it at home. When she was released she had served only three full days but was credited with five because she surrendered to authorities late Sunday night after attending the MTV Movie Awards and was released early Thursday morning. Before her release, she was fitted with an ankle bracelet and ordered not to leave her house until her sentence was up.
Hilton was expected to serve only 23 days because of a state law that requires shorter sentences for good behavior. She was credited with both her time served in jail and at home, so by Saturday she had completed seven days of her sentence. With time off for good behavior, she could be released in a little more than two weeks.
Hilton's path to jail began Sept. 7, when she failed a sobriety test after police saw her weaving down a street in her Mercedes-Benz on what she said was a late-night run to a hamburger stand.
She pleaded no contest to reckless driving and was sentenced to 36 months' probation, alcohol education and $1,500 in fines.
In the months that followed, she was stopped twice by officers who discovered her driving on a suspended license. The second stop landed her in Sauer's courtroom, where he sentenced her to jail.
"Today I told my attorneys not to appeal the judge's decision. While I greatly appreciate the Sheriff's concern for my health and welfare, after meeting with doctors I intend to serve my time as ordered by the judge.
This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. During the past several days, I have had a lot of time to reflect and have already learned a bitter, but important lesson from this experience.
As I have said before, I hope others will learn from my mistake. I have also had time to read the mail from my fans. I very much appreciate all of their good wishes and hope they will keep their letters coming.
I must also say that I was shocked to see all of the attention devoted to the amount of time I would spend in jail for what I had done by the media, public and city officials. I would hope going forward that the public and the media will focus on more important things, like the men and women serving our country in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places around the world."
Inside you will find an extensive Paris Hilton picture and video archive – from her stolen Blackberry photo collection, to her banned Carls Jr. Burger advertisement, to special documentaries on her life and the life of her party goer friends and sister Nicky, to more other varied pictures and video of the granddaughter of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton than you can poke a stick (or your dick) at – ALL for you to download and keep as your own collection forever! Paris Hilton… what can she do next? Something for sure, and be sure when she does we will be here to bring it to your desktop !!