Crime and Punishment Part 2

Friday, August 14, 2009

As I write this the talking heads are going crazy discussing Vick's signing by the Eagles. My personal take is that I think its a good spot for Vick. Good organization and McNabb seems to be in his corner. There's also very little pressure for him to contribute immediately. If he and McNabb click and with Dungy already in his corner, I honestly think this could be a great thing for Vick. There's also the angle that Andy Reid has gone through quite a bit with his children. But, I'll have more on all this later on after the official press conference. For now, the callers on Mike and Mike are presenting pretty much the same drivel about him never getting another shot in the pros, blah blah blah. Whatever. Again, Vick has paid a stiff penalty for his crimes. He deserves this second shot.

For now, I'm taking a step back to discuss the other two high profile NFL cases, Donte Stallworth and Plaxico Burress.

Stallworth is actually brief. Although I still am not 100% on Commissioner Goddell, I can't argue with his punishment of Stallworth. If the average person does this, they're still in jail right now and it would be very tough for them to get back working afterward. Hell, for a doctor or lawyer the punishment could be even more severe. This is the case where everyone in America should have been outraged. Drunk driving is a much larger problem in our country than dog fighting both in terms of occurrence and impact.

Then there's Plaxico.

Its tough for me to say anything in his favor because I think what he did (if he actually did shoot himself and there is something else more serious going on) was just so dumb.

Loaded gun in the club.
Safety not on.
Shoot yourself in the leg?

Come on.

But, I have to speak out against the way the NY mayor and DA office has treated this.

Declaring guilt before trial? Check.
Trying case in media? Check.
Ruining jury pool? Check.
Overblown reaction to a crime that only hurt the person involved? I gotta check here too.

I completely understand taking a tough position on crimes and guns. Far too many black men are killed due to gun violence.

But I think that's my problem with this whole thing.

A real thug probably would have been on the streets with this after a few days. I have had a hard time getting stats on this specifically for New York, but I have a hard time seeing someone with no priors getting two years for this.

Plaxico's attorney's tried to get him in for a year for this. That sounds like more than enough here. The push for more time in this case reeks of grandstanding and I think the trial will be a massive waste of public resources.

Meanwhile, real thugs will still be on the streets shooting people and dealing drugs. It just doesn't make sense.


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