I Wrote Me A Manual.

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Plaxico Burress Pleads Guilty, Sentenced To Two Years

with 8 comments

I hate to pick on  now-suspended NFL player Donte’ Stallworth, but in my view his situation serves as a suitable baseline for the recent transgressions of athletes and their subsequent penalties. I did it with Michael Vick, and now I’m doing it with Plaxico Burress. Just to remind you, Stallworth got into his Bentley almost twice the legal BAC limit in Florida, killing a man. His sentence? 30 days. 30 days!

Now consider this:

NEW YORK — Former New York Giant Plaxico Burress pleaded guilty Thursday to a weapons charge and agreed to a two-year prison term for accidentally shooting himself at a Manhattan nightclub.

The ex-wide receiver pleaded guilty to one count of attempted criminal possession of a weapon, a lesser charge than he initially faced. Under a plea agreement, he agreed to a two-year prison sentence and two years of supervised release.

Plaxico Burress leaves court in June.

Plaxico Burress leaves court in June.

Are you kidding me?! You mean to tell me that shooting oneself in a club is a more serious crime than vehicular homicide? In my opinion, the stupidity of both individuals are strikingly similar. They each recklessly endangered themselves, and the lives of others. Stallworth’s crime seemed more serious to me, though. I don’t know, something about a person being killed. In Burress’ case, nobody reported the crime, nobody else was injured, and the club was allegedly aware he was carrying. So in other words, it appears the only reason why this has gone as far as it has is because he was a high-profile celebrity.

To get a different perspective, I talked with my boy BLaCk Bruce WaYnE and he raised some interesting points:

  • If you’re comparing this to Stallworth’s situation, don’t. Different state and different circumstances. Stallworth could have fled the scene and he didn’t. He also tried saving the victim’s life. There were no attempts to hide, or hide from, the crime.
  • Geography: It’s New York and Mayor Bloomberg is engaged in a serious fight for better gun control.
  • His gun was off safety and it magically discharged. More to the story.
  • If you’re a superstar and are at a venue you feel requires you to carry the toolie, you shouldn’t be there.
  • The gun was transported across state lines (from NY to Antonio Pierce’s NJ home) and he had hospital staff essentially lie for him. These, in addition to being criminal offenses, can both be viewed as guilty actions and knowledge of the severity of the situation.
  • He accidentally shot himself in the damn club……FAIL.

These are all good points, and I’m sure that if the Stallworth incident didn’t exist, I probably wouldn’t really have an issue with the punishment. After all, Plaxico was beyond stupid for getting himself into that situation to begin with. I can’t even say I really feel sorry for him. My surprise about his sentence is purely comparitively speaking.

The stupidity involved in the two cases may be similar, but the cases do have different circumstances, which makes it hard to really compare. And like BBW said, maybe I shouldn’t. However, something just tells me that this case and its punishment has been enhanced due to who Plaxico is.

What are your thoughts?

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Written by PJ

August 20, 2009 at 1:05 pm

8 Responses

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  1. […] out our discussion at Wrote Me a Manual and see where we both stand with regards to these two situations. Bookmark […]

  2. I feel that the verdicts of both trials were heavily influenced by the celebrity status of the defendants. Ultimately one judge understood that the athlete (Stallworth) has to deal w/ the weight of social judgement for the rest of his life and that he’ll also lose millions of dollars in the process. The other judge had his sight on making sure athletes can get jail time too, despite the fact that the athlete (Plaxico) only caused physical harm to himself and irreparable damage to his own legacy.

    This further strengthens my belief that law is always open to interpretation. The judge presiding over a case will be the determining factor on whether one will be liftin’ weights in the yard w/ the goons & gangsters or liftin’ weights in their mansion while on house arrest w/ ur personal training…

    Mikey Champ

    August 20, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    • Agreed Mike. Each person’s celebrity definitely played a factor. It’s odd that out of the two cases, it wasn’t the judge presiding over Stallworth’s case that made an example out of the situation. Drunk driving is a much more common occurrence, so this case had the potential of being a teachable moment. Letting someone off with a 30-day sentence really takes away from the seriousness of the crime.

      It’s crazy, the more I talk about this, the more I realize I have more of a problem with Stallworth’s sentence than I do Plax’s.

      Hopefully the both get back into the league when it’s all said and done.

      PJ

      August 20, 2009 at 8:09 pm

      • “It’s crazy, the more I talk about this, the more I realize I have more of a problem with Stallworth’s sentence than I do Plax’s”

        – It’s because Donte actually killed a man. A human life doesn’t mean much nowadays I guess…
        What irks me more is that I personally know of regular cats who’ve been arrested for a gun charge (in NYC) and was out in less than 90 days.

        Mikey Champ

        August 21, 2009 at 1:19 am

  3. So it’s estimated that Plaxico lost approximately over $45mil by not putting his piece on safety. He lost $11mil in salary & bonuses from the 2008 season which was actually a raise from the $3.5mil owed to him in 2008. He lost a 5 year deal worth $35mil which was a restructured deal and incurred debt such as lawyer fees, fines and civil suits.

    It’s ironic for the fact that since he is a wide receiver a safety could have saved his life right now. I made a pun…lol

    BLaCk Bruce WaYnE

    August 20, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    • LMAO… that was a good one.

      PJ

      August 20, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    • Ha! You made a funny… (it was a good one tho, lol)

      Mikey Champ

      August 21, 2009 at 1:13 am

  4. I don’t really think that the time he got was fair. Then again this is New York and they always seem like they have to make a point in this city. Sad to say everything was all good just a week ago.

    Ainz Neal

    August 21, 2009 at 9:47 am


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