Catherine Zeta-Jones begs judge for lesser sentence

cameron_douglasCatherine Zeta-Jones and Kirk Douglas have written Judge Richard Berman to ask for a lesser sentence for Cameron Douglas, who is Michael Douglas‘ 31-year-old son from his first marriage. Cameron, pictured at left, is facing 10 years in jail after pleading guilty in January to possession and dealing methamphetamine and cocaine from a Manhattan hotel last July. Kirk wrote: “I remember when he played a part in the movie It Runs in the Family with me and Michael in 2003. He was a natural. We were so proud. Of course, as his grandfather… I am prejudiced. I was shocked when he got in such a mess… I am convinced that Cameron could be a fine actor and a person that cares for others. I hope I can see that happen before I die. I love Cameron.” Cameron’s stepmother, Catherine, urged the judge for rehabilitation. She wrote in her testimonial: “My stepson is a caring, considerate, worthy human being, but nevertheless, the disease that for years he has tried to combat, did take over again. What is wrong is wrong, but may all these positive attributes prevail, so that a facility that he is positioned in will help rehabilitate him.”

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Holly • April 8, 2010 @ 10:00 AM

    I would hope that this is common for the families to write to the judges on advice from their lawyers and this is not just some plea by celebs. to try and illicit special treatment for their children/relatives. No one will be happy if he gets a lesser sentence because it will be tainted with suspicion that his famous family got him off and there will be those that feel if he doesn’t get a reduction it is because “an example” has been made of him. As for me, the guy was dealing meth. Give him what the law allows for punishment and let him and his family live with that. It’s bad enough taking meth yourself…but being a dealer, just terrible.

  2. Joanne • April 8, 2010 @ 10:22 AM

    I agree with Holly. No special treatment. A ordinary person would get sentenced to jail. He is no different. Maybe a year in jail will make him see his mistake.

  3. Debbie • April 8, 2010 @ 10:34 AM

    Let him have at least half of his sentence in jail (5 years) and maybe then he will be ready to get out. Dealing meth is a horrible thing – especially when he could probably ask daddy for some money to live on. I’m sure his stepmother and father would love to elicit special treatment for him, but I don’t think the judge should let that affect his sentence.

  4. Andy • April 8, 2010 @ 11:06 AM

    I’m sorry but they think he is a kind and caring person, abd should be let out because he might be a good actor?? Look at all the lives he’s ruined due to his habbits. He can rot in there for all I care

  5. quinn • April 8, 2010 @ 2:20 PM

    He is an addict. I don’t think prison is a good place for him. And I don’t think he should have a get out of jail free card either. Whatever happens to him he will have to live with and hopefully learn from his mistakes.

  6. mandee • April 8, 2010 @ 2:31 PM

    Holly on April 8, 2010 10:00 AM excellent comment. basically what i was thinking, but definitely put in a more intelligent way.

    as far as im concerned no one that isnt a celeb gets these special perks. do you think a judge would even consider reading a letter from my mom if i was sentenced to prison? let alone actually do what she asks? these celebs are getting off way too easily when they break the law. i think it is unfair and unjust. when someone breaks the law, they deserve to be punished. if he gets off for selling meth, shouldnt other people be able to get off as well when their mom writes them a get out of jail free note? its crazy! i hope the judge stands by his/her decision. this judge looked at the case, listened to the evidence etc and decided this man deserves 10 years in jail, should a letter simply change his mind? he can go to jail just like the rest of us and perhaps get out early based on good behaviour. im sure anyone with half a brain will lose any respect they have for any judge that is willing to let someone that was breaking the law get a lesser sentence because someone simply said they should. its called DOING YOUR JOB.

  7. Carolyn • April 8, 2010 @ 3:09 PM

    Ten years????????????? Did he murder anyone? Did he blow up a public building….(he could have though), did he beat anyone up??? Sure he deserves a punishment but come one people….Drugs of any kind is a form of disease, like gambling…he needs help..what kind of help is their in prison? Not much. People get off with a lot worse..annd celebs don’t all go unpunished…remember Martha Stewart. Have a heart.

  8. Wendy • April 8, 2010 @ 3:40 PM

    If you do the crime – you do the time….a famous family should not influence the situation.

  9. mandee • April 8, 2010 @ 5:00 PM

    Carolyn on April 8, 2010 3:09 PM i dont remember reading anywhere how many times hes been caught or if this was a first offense, im assuming it wasnt his first offense or else the punishment wouldnt be so lengthy.

    wendy, i agree.

  10. Bob • April 8, 2010 @ 5:23 PM

    Coke ok but Meth– no way. Fry the little criminal bastard!! He’s a killer!!!!

  11. Carol • April 8, 2010 @ 8:16 PM

    YUCK, he looks like his father.

    Carolyn, I respect your opinion, but yes, he very possibly has killed people. He was a dealer. My husband and I have two teenagers, and the more people we can get off the streets who deal this stuff the better. 10 years, I think we should hang him. More than likely his actions has torn apart families, ruined marriages, destroyed careers, and yes, ended lives.

    No one should get off due to who they are. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the first time this has happened. The b*stard should hang!

  12. Maureen • April 8, 2010 @ 9:48 PM

    The term is the term, and he should not be singled out for any special treatment, you do the crime you serve the time.
    It should be that way for everyone, what if everyone should write the judge there would be no justice, all they have to do is show him love work closely with him and give him support and plan to be there when he returns to society. I hope the time served will help him to get straight.

  13. J. • April 8, 2010 @ 11:26 PM

    “10 years, I think we should hang him. More than likely his actions has torn apart families, ruined marriages, destroyed careers, and yes, ended lives.” (Carol).

    Hang him?! Yes he deserves punishment, but not the death penalty! He didn’t kill anybody.

    What about letting those people he dealt to accept responsibility for their own actions–they decided to do drugs, no one forced them.

    If you have sympathy for them, then you should also have sympathy for him–drug addiction is just that–addiction. It’s an illness and those afflicted need treatment.

  14. silver • April 9, 2010 @ 8:47 AM

    I think many of the comments that have been made are based on misinformation. Although not clear in the article, I believe that sentencing has not yet been made, and the 10 years is the maximum punishment under law — most likely, no one on a first offence would get the maximum, famous or not.

    As for the letters being written by his family, first Catherine didn’t ask that he be “let off”, just that he be allowed to be rehabilitated. Also, there is nothing unusual in writing letters to the judge; they aren’t able to do this because they are famous. As part of sentencing, the judge takes into account many different factors — all of it forms the pre-sentencing report. The actual sentence handed down is decided by the judge after considering all these factors. To assume he will let him off just because of a letter from his family (which can happen in ANY case, not just celebrities) is silly.

    Also, when a celebrity is sentenced to less than the maximum, there is often a thought they got special treatment. The fact is that the sentencing is probably in line with what an “ordinary” person gets, but few know what an “ordinary” sentence is because the vast majority of them don’t get reported.

    As for people who want to “hang him”, I hope those people aren’t involved in formulating or administering law. It would be scary if they were.

  15. Charles • April 9, 2010 @ 9:22 AM

    I think that Dad should make a huge ( 8 figures or so ) contribution to the local drug prevention center and the judge should give him 2 yrs. ….before you all go crazy, hear me out! There is such a thing as a tangible benefit to society. Yes his dad is loaded! The $ would help “many others” like him get off the drugs. Yes $ provides priveledges, it’s his opportunity to contribute. This solution maybe unfair to others with less opportunity, but the benefits to society at large outway the negatives.

    As for the family writing a letter to the judge, this is not an uncommon thing once the “guilty” plea has been entered.Read Silver above

  16. Mary • April 9, 2010 @ 12:46 PM

    There is nothing left to say everyone has already expressed their feelings about this drug dealer. The only thing I can add is JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS and then you won’t become a victim if you don’t indulge in the first place you won’t have the problem.

  17. silver • April 9, 2010 @ 3:13 PM

    Charles, that is an interesting idea. It does raise some moral issues (being able to buy your way out of trouble), but I understand your point about benefiting society versus just locking someone away for a long time.

  18. tributegirl • April 9, 2010 @ 5:11 PM

    Carol, hanging him is too good for him, he needs a kick in the a$$! lolol, someone I know used to say that sort of thing, it cracked me up everytime!
    The problem I see with Charles’ idea is, that’s punishing Kirk financially for something he didn’t do. I know he raised his son to be who he is, BUT Cameron is 31 years old, he’s old enough to be responsible for his own actions.
    And at 31 years old, I’d be embarrassed if mommy wrote a letter to the judge!

  19. BizzyBody • April 9, 2010 @ 8:35 PM

    You can sure tell he isn’t Catherine Zeta Jones’ biological kid, he’s kind of nerdy looking. In fact, he resembles a serial killer and looks like he has a real stinking attitude about almost everything. I’m just judging the book by its cover here though. But I think that by writing to the judge, they are banking on a possibility that the judge might be a fan of Catherine, Michael, or both of them and consider their requests on that basis. I think if I were a judge I’d feel kind of fortunate and flattered to receive a letter from either of them. They are popular actors and Catherine is so gorgeous. I don’t believe judges should be influenced by outside mail requests or even allowed to recieve them. Nobody is allowed to speak to a jury member while a trial is in procession, so same thing here.

  20. Carol • April 9, 2010 @ 8:52 PM

    Carolyn, like I said I resepct your opinion. And you are correct, those people do have to take responsiblity for their actions. But he is also to blame. And he is the “ring leader” probably for a lot of people he sold to. Given who he is, I”m sure there are some people with low esteem (still they do need to also take responsiblity) took what he had to offer and then became dependent on it. Yep, hang him. We spend more money on trying to fix and rehabilitate people. Really, what are the stats? Have we been truly successful. I think not, because those who get out re-offend, and some do while they are still in jail. This is serious, he didn’t shoplift an apple, he took people’s lives in his hands. I wouldn’t want this guy in my neighborhood anymore than I’d want a pedophile living near me. They are all monsters.

  21. demigod • April 10, 2010 @ 5:57 AM

    Carol, other than your draconian views, you apparently have no understanding re drug issues/dependency. Dealers (not ‘pushers’- as drug enforcement agencies like to label them) don’t make addicts, they’re merely ‘facilitators’ for mostly recreational users, and yes, addicts, already having issues-just looking to cope. Dealers don’t want anyone ODing or they’d lose repeat customers/business, or worse get implicated/busted.
    Govt’s/society as a whole are not addressing stress/mental health seriously enough, which is reflected by our drug laws, prison populations, ridiculous psychiatric fees,suicide rates, ODs. Drug laws do nothing but suppress, and create bigger prob.

    I oppose ANY ‘testimonials’ or private letters to judges outside of court proceedings. A judge needs to be impartial, and not be swayed by personal/influential contacts. Anything short of this would be deemed ‘obstructon of justice’.

    This dude and his pedo glasses is fugly.

  22. mandee • April 10, 2010 @ 1:57 PM

    Charles on April 9, 2010 9:22 AM if the DAD pays then clearly this man wont learn a thing. HE should be the one that has to get a job and pay his money to the drug centers.

    tributegirl on April 9, 2010 5:11 PM my thoughts exactly 😀

    BizzyBody on April 9, 2010 8:35 PM i agree with your comment completely. i wonder if he had have murdered someone if the judge would take character witnesses and letters to give him a lesser sentence? if not, then there is a real problem in the system. you can not give someone who is a drug dealer a lesser sentence based on a letter, but not consider the same treatment for others who break the law. if a judge would give a murderer or a drug dealer a lesser sentence just because of these letters, why isnt everyone becoming a murderer or drug dealer? im sure there are lots of people that would write letters for you if you threatened to kill them or cut off their drug supply. lol.

    demigod on April 10, 2010 5:57 AM i agree with your comment 😀

  23. Debbie • April 11, 2010 @ 1:41 AM

    I am sick of celebrities, people in politics, etc., acting like they are “above the law”, and getting away with what “normal” people could not. No one is better than anyone else, but money and fame talks. Maybe Catherine and Michael would like to “share” the sentence, that they want to keep Cameron from getting. That I can see. Split it three ways. These people are sick! The sentences are usually not strong enough, and this does not help. Or… let the kid make a movie, and let all of the money he earns go to rehab, and keeping him out of jail! Do something constructive, already! I am glad that most of the comments were not to “feel sorry for him”.

  24. demigod • April 11, 2010 @ 7:12 AM

    You don’t like the glasses either Mandee? 🙂

  25. mandee • April 11, 2010 @ 12:54 PM

    lol, nope, caught me 😛

  26. Jo-Anne • April 11, 2010 @ 10:38 PM

    J., Silver, the only 2 I see sense in…agree

    “ordinary” criminals get lesser sentences all over the world on a daily basis. Whether right or wrong, it just happens…

    Also, I don’t think a person’s age dictates a parent’s involvement or intervention when they deem it necessary.

  27. silver • April 12, 2010 @ 8:23 AM

    Thanks Jo-Anne. And I agree age shouldn’t dictate a parent’s involvement. Either you love your children, and support them (and support doesn’t mean saying they are innocent and should be let out, it means helping them through their troubles). Where would all the people like the ones in the show “Intervention” be without their loving family and friends supporting and helping them? And that goes for children supporting their parents also, when needed.

    I sometimes wonder whether the views on this site are representative of the views of society in general.

  28. silver • April 12, 2010 @ 8:28 AM

    Mandee, you definitely have a point in saying he won’t learn if someone else paid a fine (or whatever)for him, although I would say “less of a chance” than “won’t”.

    However, I find it interesting that you have that viewpoint here, but previously you said that the punishment to someone who has raped or murdered someone should be to have the perpetrator’s mother or sister raped or murdered. It seems to be inconsistent, or am I missing something?

  29. mandee • April 12, 2010 @ 10:22 PM

    no, i didnt necessarily mean their family member should be raped or murdered as well, i just think that if the law STATED thats what would happen, that if you raped and murdered my child i could pick who out of your family i do what to, then perhaps there would be less bodily harm done simply out of fear that the person whos child you took could possibly choose your child or your mother or your grandmother and do what they wanted to them. i mainly meant they should use that law as more of a scare tactic because most people that want revenge on someone that hurt their child, want the revenge on the person that hurt their child. do you know what i mean? not sure if im making sense haha.

  30. silver • April 13, 2010 @ 8:55 AM

    Mandee, I understand what you are saying, you say it quite clearly. However, I don’t think more severe punishment necessarily acts as a deterrent. In the US they still have capital punishment, but murders are still committed, and although I don’t have data, I’m pretty sure the murder rate in the US is higher than Canada, where there is no death penalty. There are countries around the world that have severe penalties for crimes, yet there is still crime. Countries with low crime rates can probably point to societal issues more than severe penalties as a deterrent. The focus should be on programs that build a better person, not on relying on potential punishment to scare a person into compliance.

  31. mandee • April 13, 2010 @ 11:52 AM

    thats very true, and i do agree with your comment completely. 😀 i just know personally, i would be afraid to do anything bad if i knew it could be any member of my family they chose in retaliation. mind you, i dont break the law now because i have no urge to do terrible things.

  32. Mel R:) • April 14, 2010 @ 1:05 PM

    Doesn’t matter who you are, no-one is immune to the law. Actors, addicts, whatever, nobody should assume or expect to be treated any differently by the judicial system because of who they are or who they know, they are punished according to what they do- no exceptions… Oh and I love that the only argument his family has to back him up is that he’s a great actor…?! Really? So that’s his contribution to society? Give me a break- actors are people like everyone else, I would know… he’s not a murderer no, but him and those people like him sell drugs to our kids and only a small select few continue their claim to fame (sarcasm) by getting on some pathetic reality show whereas the rest of us end up with the sad reality of drug addicted messed up children.

  33. mandee • April 14, 2010 @ 10:39 PM

    mel, im curious…how would you know? 🙂

  34. Mel R:) • April 15, 2010 @ 10:55 AM

    hah, thanks for asking! I’ve been doing some acting, mostly local, for about the last 12 years- I remember when I was on a tv show and my boyfriend at the time was taking Film and Television studies and he was trying to “prepare me” with so-called actors etiquette but so exaggerated- so it was like “Don’t speak to the actors! Don’t speak to the director! blah blah” and I was like, “Really?! They’re just people too, don’t be so uptight!” Turns out the cast were like anybody else, some were very friendly and others had attitude:)
    On another note, I do not know what it’s like to have drug addicted children (thank God!), but I have 3 wonderful teenage boys who I’ve taught, ultimately the decisions you make are your own and you have to live with the consequences and correct your mistakes or at least learn from them. I see homeless drug addicted street kids in our downtown area and it breaks my heart because nobody “asks” to turn out that way, and I always look at them and think Gosh, that could be my kid- but I’ve also learned no matter how great of a parent you are and how loving and supportive, all you can do is be there for them and guide them, but again, they get to an age where you are no longer making decisions for them. Douglas’ son is old enough to make decisions fo himself, clearly he chose the less desireable one

  35. mandee • April 16, 2010 @ 3:09 PM

    oh, im glad that youve managed to do some acting, thanks for explaining it for me 😀 and i agree with the rest of your comment completely. we need more parents like you that teach their children right from wrong and make them suffer consequences for their actions, rather than begging someone to let them off. 🙂

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