WEB EXCLUSIVE: Fame + fortune = not guilty

Steve Schirra

In light of the Michael Jackson verdict and my intense longing to commit felonies, I’ve decided that, after a few modifications to my lifestyle, I would be able to live the crime-laden life I so deserve.

But don’t get me wrong; we know that only certain types of people are granted Get Out of Jail Free Cards. But I am willing to make the necessary changes to be given such privileges in the court of law.

First, I need to implant myself into the hearts of the nation’s youth as soon as possible. Perhaps I could be a running back in the NFL, a B-list movie actor or, every few years, release a hit single that sends my loyal and devout fans into a pop music frenzy. Once I’ve won them over, it would be only a matter of time before I could mold them in my hands like ugly lumps of clay.

Crime isn’t cute when you’re a middle-aged white male, so it would be best if I were some sort of minority.

I wouldn’t become a woman, of course. As we’ve seen with the Martha Stewart case, juries just don’t have the same soft spot for females that they do for other minorities – even those who can make a delicious pound cake using only a roll of parchment paper and some excess twine.

Next, after I’ve poisoned the minds of millions of my adoring fans, and maybe after I’ve purchased my dream house – Cedar Point – I could begin my crime spree.

There are a few simple rules for getting away with celebrity crimes. First and foremost, it simply cannot be petty theft. As we’ve seen with our friend Winona, things such as clothes jacking are hardly ever forgiven by 12 of your easily bought, star-struck peers.

So, I must go for the gusto.

“Steve could never murder someone,” they’d say. “Don’t you remember his hit song ‘I’ve Got your Love Right Here’ from the 80s? Anyone so poetic could never kill a pregnant, elderly nun.”

And after I had committed my first felony, I will make a public statement denying everything I had just done.  And if I were in a really creative mood, I would do so in a jaunty rap song. Anything to confuse people.

Since I would be rich and famous, I would hire the slimiest lawyer in the biz to represent me. Nay – a team of the slimiest lawyers. They’d say things like “probable doubt” and “DNA” and “quid pro quo.” And if nothing else, I cold remind them that I was once a B-list actor and performer, and everyone knows we’re incapable of sinning.

And once my jury of 12 peers was thoroughly befuddled, I could just sit back and relax as they read off the not guilty verdicts.

It’s as American as an enchilada.

Contact forum editor Steve Schirra at [email protected].