Friday, August 21, 2009

What the Eff, America? Football Crimes Edition

Donte Stallworth went and got drunk and decided to drive his Bentley home. On his way home he killed a dude who was trying to cross the street. For driving drunk and killing a guy, Stallworth served 30 days in prison.

Michael Vick funded and participated in a dog fighting ring for over six years. In that time he regularly tortured and killed dogs. He pitted them against each other, electrocuted them, drowned them, and he didn't stop until he was found out by the police. He was sentenced to 23 months in prison, and he served 18 months.

Plaxico Burress decided to go out to a night club in his sweatpants and also to bring a gun in case he got mugged, like his teammate Steve Smith had been only a few days prior. The gun slipped out of the waistband of his sweatpants (you can't make this shit up) and discharged. Fortunately for Plax, the bullet hit him in the leg instead of somewhere else on his body or instead of someone else in the club. He went to the hospital, tried to hide the gun, and then came to his senses and told the truth about what happened within 24 hours of what happened. For this he was sentenced to 24 months in jail, and he will serve at least 20 months.

Is it just me, or are the punishments for these crimes going in reverse order of severity? This makes absolutely no goddamn sense. Plaxico's first mistake on that night was deciding to wear sweatpants to the club and his second was to bring his gun, but shit he didn't kill anyone or anything and he only injured himself. Sure he should be punished, but 2 years in prison for this? This is just grandstanding, pure and simple, by the mayor and the D.A. at a time when Bloomie is trying to get re-elected to a third term (it's gonna be harder than you think, Mike, though you'll win in the end, I bet, because you'll spend 50 times more money than the other gies combined).

And how can you fucking drive drunk and kill a guy and only go to jail for 30 days? 30 fucking days. Shit, next time I go out drinking, I'm gonna go out in Florida. This guy should be in prison for years and years, and instead he's already out.

This is getting to be ri-goddamn-diculous.


Evan said...

Well said Chuck.

Unfortunately we are often judged on how other’s perceive us, not on our actions. Plax, while not having a criminal history, was generally perceived as an asshole (and probably rightfully so). Thus, when he does something wrong he has to pay the price of his perceived sins. I mean think about it, if it was Tom Brady in this exact same situation do you think that he would have gotten the same sentence? Plax is a gie that the DA thinks would be good to make an example of.

Open Bar said...

Vick's seems somewhat fair, though my expertise in incarceration duration for his crime is limited.

Plax's seems excessive sure, but he doesn't play for the Giants anymore so I don't really give a shit.

And Stallworth? A smart guy. If you're gonna kill a guy, do it there. Florida : laws :: New Jersey : non-corrupt politicians.

JG said...

The circumstances of the Stallworth drunk driving death (as told by E60) make it seem like regardless of if he was drinking he probably would have still hit the guy since he did run right in front of him. Then he cooperated and didn't drive or lie about it. Still, he killed a guy, and was legally drunk.

Anonymous said...

Plaxico's biggest mistake was wearing sweatpants to a nightclub - though he can get away with it. If I went up to a woman at a nightclub while wearing sweatpants and hit on her, I'd get a different response than a famous millionaire like Plaxico.

By the way, what were Plaxico's parents' second choice for baby names?

I think Evan's right - think about Barry Bonds. I think the fact that he was an asshole definitely brought steroids to the forefront of the sport world's consciousness, while "nice guys" like Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire would have probably received more leniency in the court of public opinion. And then, in response to Evan's question about Tom Brady, maybe he would have more leniency than Plaxico for that reason.

Also, the overall context of high profile crimes is important. Bernhard Goetz ( shot four guys and was only found guilty of gun possession because NYC was perceived as a high crime, out of control city back then. It would be much more difficult to envision this happening now and him basically getting off, because the city is not perceived to be as crazy as it used to be.

(This last paragraph was all Malcolm Gladwell's idea, not mine.)