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May 18, 2017 07:55 AM EDT

Oxford's Lavinia Woodward: Punishment May Now Be An Issue Of Merit And Talent [VIDEO]

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Lavinia Woodward has hogged the news recently and become the subject of many debates because she might be spared from the punishment due her. The reason is simple - she was extremely talented. Because of this many are asking if this is now the age where punishment is dependent on merit.

Woodward, a college undergraduate at Oxford University's Christ Church College, dreamed of becoming a heart surgeon. This dream does not seem impossible since she is smart, wealthy, and beautiful. One day, however, she got stoned on drugs and stabbed her boyfriend with a bread knife.

If this were another person, he or she would have landed in a cold, prison cell already. But not Lavinia Woodward, whom judge Ian Pringle described as an extraordinary young lady. Aside from that, Woodward's college testimonials no less glowing. These moved the judged leading him to mete out a non-custodial sentence so that she will have time to get over the drugs.

Woodward reportedly went off to Milan where her mother lives after the sentence was meted out. She will resume her studies in Christ Church when she gets back in autumn.

Woodward's case was not the first where an elite student was spared from jail time. Last year, Ivy League student Brock Turner got only three months jail time after sexually assaulting a woman. In the same way, the judge who handled the case said that a long sentence would hurt his career and have a severe impact on his life.

Many are now asking if this is the rise of an era where punishment is based on merit and talent. Where the talented and smart get away with the crime while those who are considered less brilliant can languish in jail for many years.

The judges who handled the cases meted out a more lenient sentence because it could ruin the future careers of Woodward and Brock. How about the rest?

How about the man who went to jail just because he disrupted a boat race? Or the men who served time because they kicked a hedgehog? Don't they have the right for their career prospects as well?

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