This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 7, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.
BILL O’REILLY, HOST: Now for the "Top Story" tonight, the Paris Hilton ruse. At 2:00 a.m. this morning West Coast time, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca released Paris Hilton from jail for an undisclosed medical reason, thought now to be some kind of panic attack. So instead of spending three more weeks behind bars, Ms. Hilton now goes home to serve her sentence in palatial surroundings.
This is simply unacceptable. The justice system is supposed to be the same for everyone. Obviously, it is not.
Sheriff Baca is the villain here, but Judge Michael Sauer, who sentenced Paris Hilton, should step up and demand a clear explanation as to why his sentence has been altered by the sheriff, who does have the final say over the jail.
Now, you remember that Sauer gave Hilton a break after she pled no contest to a DUI, sentencing her to probation and ordering her not to drive. But she violated that order. So Sauer gave her a short jail stretch. Now, Sheriff Baca has made a mockery of that sentence.
Joining us now from Palm Desert, California, defense attorney John Patrick Dolan. And from Los Angeles, investigative journalist Pat Lalama. Pat, begin with you. What is the medical condition? Do you know what sprung her out of there?
PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: I do. The medical condition is mental, not physical. Crying jags, nonstop depression. As one attorney put it to me, how everyone who's in jail feels. And here's the deal. I happen to have this order form that the sheriff's department — the probation department will give to her, where she is allowed to check off what she wants to do. Go do my laundry. I doubt it. Go to the doctor. I doubt it. Go look for a job. I doubt it.
But she is allowed to check this form and ask for certain permission to leave her house.
As for her medical condition, Bill, here's the deal. She's being sued for $10 million by a diamond heiress for defamation of character. There was supposed to be a hearing in Los Angeles, I believe about a week ago, maybe a little bit more. Her psychiatrist went to the courts and said she's so distraught over having to go to jail, she just can't sit in court through a hearing. It's just too much. The civil court succumbed and said, all right, we'll move that to August. Two nights later, she was out partying.
So it isn't a question to me of whether it's early release, because that does happen a lot here in Los Angeles. It's the whole BS of this mental condition that's got me riled and the city attorney...
O'REILLY: Well, I think the fix was in.
LALAMA: ... by the way — yeah.
O'REILLY: I mean, we have all kind of condemnation — I think the fix was in. Baca very sympathetic to celebrities.
O'REILLY: And I'm sure that as soon as the psychiatrist came to Baca and said, look, you know, she's going to have a freak-out attack and this, that and the other.
But, Counselor, come on, look. You are the judge, Counselor. I mean, here is a young woman who gets pulled over for a DUI, and then a week later — I'm sorry, three months later, even though her license is suspended pending the case, is found driving, and then pleads no contest. And then a week later is found driving again. And then is a half-hour late to the sentencing hearing, where Judge Sauer says, “You are going to jail, lady. I gave you a break the first time around. You are, you know, thumbing your nose at the justice system, and you can't do it.” And now this happens. I mean, are you as outraged as I am, Counselor?
JOHN PATRICK DOLAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I am outraged that the truth and what really happens in court hasn't been reported. First of all, if you want to talk about equal treatment under the law, nobody gets a 45-day sentence for a case like this. You couldn't find one person in Southern California doing a 45-day sentence for driving on a suspended license. It's $100 and out.
O'REILLY: Violating the probation?
DOLAN: That's the first point. Absolutely. This kind of probation, where you're talking about she was eligible, she just didn't get in the alcohol program — they would tell her, go and get into the program, come back, we'll reinstate you...
O'REILLY: No, it wasn't about the program.
DOLAN: ... $100.
O'REILLY: After she was convicted of DUI, she was caught in the car again, when she wasn't allowed to drive.
DOLAN: I understand that...
O'REILLY: That was the violation of the probation. In addition to not going to the other thing.
DOLAN: I understand that...
O'REILLY: But wait a minute. Are you telling me...
DOLAN: Eligible for a license. She just didn't get in the program.
O'REILLY: Are you telling me in the state of California, that you are allowed, all right, to get convicted of a fairly serious crime, DUI, and then violate all terms of the probation, which is a light sentence, and not be held accountable for that? Are you telling me that?
DOLAN: I'm telling you first of all, it wasn't a DUI; it was a wet reckless. They reduced it. Secondly, she just didn't sign up for the SB- 1176 program. That's why her license wasn't reissued. She was eligible for a license. So when she got it, case closed, that will be $100 fine and walk out for anybody but Paris Hilton. That's the first point.
O'REILLY: All right, what do you say to that? What do you say to that?
LALAMA: You know what, I think what's happening here is that there are excuses, excuses, excuses for the behavior of celebrities in this town. The L.A. Daily News did a whole editorial on Lee Baca's celebrity worship with Mel Gibson. You can go down the list. Michelle Rodriguez, an actress who has had two DUIs and a hit-and-run, and spent four hours after getting her baloney sandwich and got to leave. Tom Sizemore, the guy with the meth problem, constantly in trouble, hasn't spent any time in jail.
It's this reckless disregard for any kind of sense of responsibility and integrity, and hero worship because of celebrity status.
O'REILLY: OK, now, Counselor, if...
O'REILLY: Do you believe, Counselor, that...
LALAMA: It's not nonsense.
O'REILLY: ... Baca, all right, is soft towards celebrities? Do you believe that?
DOLAN: No. I believe he has a jail overcrowding problem. And anyone...
DOLAN: ... would have gotten kicked out in three days.
O'REILLY: Paris Hilton had her own cell. There was no roommate in there, even though there was another bunk. They didn't put a roommate. So don't give me the overcrowding business. The overcrowding business is BS. She was in there alone. She didn't have anybody in there with her.
DOLAN: No, the BS is people are saying anybody else would have served any more time than Paris Hilton. They wouldn't have. They don't.
O'REILLY: All right, well, that may be true. You may have a chaotic system in Los Angeles — and I believe you do — and Baca is part of the problem of that chaos. But you know, around the country, Counselor, don't you see how bad this looks, that you have a rich heiress — I mean, I don't want to leave — I want to go for 40 days to her house. I'll stay there for 40 days. I don't want to go out. All right? I mean, look at this house! Let's all go! All right? For 40 days, how about it? We'll have a vacation. This is not punishment for any crime, Counselor. It's not a punishment.
DOLAN: Wasn't the original premise that she gets treated like everybody else?
O'REILLY: No, the original premise was...
DOLAN: Because that's what she got.
O'REILLY: ... she pled no contest to drunk driving.
LALAMA: No, that's wrong. Wrong.
O'REILLY: And then she violated her parole. That's the premise.
DOLAN: I'm telling you, nobody does that kind of time in Los Angeles except Paris Hilton. I'm just telling you the truth.
O'REILLY: But that's Los Angeles’ problem. All right, I don't believe that for a second, by the way.
DOLAN: It's the truth. I've been working in the courts for 30 years. It's the truth.
O'REILLY: All right. We'll see. We'll see.
All right, Pat, you want to have the last word here?
LALAMA: Well, I just want to say, yes, it is true that people do get early release, the nonviolent people. That's not the issue. There's an overall aura of coddling these people. There's a lot of other people who probably have been in longer and could have gotten out earlier. And guess what, she might be able to do TV interviews from her house too.
O'REILLY: OK. We'll follow the story. Pat, Counselor, thanks very much. We appreciate it.
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