Friday, August 21, 2009

That just... doesn't make sense.

We've all hear the statement that justice is blind, well is it? Really?
Do I have any NFL fans that read my blog? Then you may have an opinion on this.
For those of you who may not be familiar, I'll give you the stories. First off we have Plaxico Burress, the New York Giants Super bowl hero wide receiver. While at a night club last year, a gun he had stashed in the waistband of his sweatpants falls and as he tries to catch it, in his pants; goes off and hits him in the thigh. Fast forward a bit, the New York D.A. charges him with a serious possession crime, his lawyers and the D.A. go back and forth bargaining and finally out of fear that he would get locked up for longer, he pleads guilty to a lesser charge and is sentenced to 2 years in prison and 2 years probation.
Story number two involves all star receiver Donte Stallworth of the Cleavland Browns. A few months back Stallworth struck and killed a man who was crossing the street in the wee hours of the morning in Florida. The man was a 52 year old crane operator who was going to catch the bus to go home to his family after working the night shift. Stallworth was found to be operating his car under the influence, and was subsequently charged. After a few months of negotiating, Stallworh pleads out to a lesser charge, and is sentenced to 24 days in jail and 4000 hours of community service.
Did anybody catch that? Does it make sense to anyone? One man hurts himself by being stupid, and gets hit with 2 years in prison. The other takes the life of an innocent man, changes that mans family forever, all because he chose to drive drunk, and he get 3 weeks in a county lock up with 4000 community hours. Something just doesn't add up there. This is an example of how skewed the American justice system has become. Mind you Canada isn't much better with our hug-a-thug approach.
Now this article is not to say that I think Burress should have gotten off with nothing, although I think 2 years mandatory jail term is slightly harsh for stupidity. What he did was dangerous and he could have hurt someone, so yes I think a stint in the bunkhouse is warranted. My beef with all this is how Stallworth can carelessly take the life of an innocent hard working man, and get nothing more than a slap on the wrist. What kind of a message is being sent to the public? What about the young kids coming up who look up to these guys?
Just before I end, lets take it a step further. Because of this incident, Burress lost his big contract with the Giants. He'll be 34 when he's released, and it'll be tough for him to get another spot with an NFL team. Who wants a 34 year old wide receiver who's been out of the game for 2 years? An then there is his family who will be without their daddy and husband for 2 years. (He said that was his biggest motivation in taking the plea, he didn't want to face an even longer sentence away from his family)
In terms of Stallworth, he's 29 and just hitting his prime. He's only been suspended from the NFL for one year without pay, and his team is looking forward to getting him back next season. Where is his hard punishment?
So what do we get from all this? Justice really is blind, and a little stupid. And also, the NFL stands for National Felon League.