I am going to give you a list of facts about a person who committed a crime. I want you to tell me how lengthy their jail sentence should be or if they should be sentenced at all:
1- The person has no prior convictions.
2- The previous week, the person’s good friend was robbed at gun point.
3- The person has/had a gun license that may or may not have been expired in a different state.
4- The person takes this gun with him to a club.
5- The security at this club allows him to enter the club with the gun.
6- Security decides it may not be a good idea, so they ask the person if they can hold the gun.
7- In trying to give the gun to security for safety reasons, the gun goes off.
8- It doesn’t shoot anyone in the club, but it does graze the thigh of the individual carrying the gun.
9- The person in question is considered high profile, resulting in a series of poor decision making after the incident as opposed to reporting it and coming clean.
10- Finally, and seemingly too late, the person owns up to what happens to authorities.
Using common sense, in your opinion, how long should this person be in jail? Two months? Six months? Not at all?
If you said two years, you are crazy! But, that is the length of time Plaxico Burress will spend behind bars after accidentally shooting himself.
I understand the law; legally he is facing a “felony weapons charge”.
Once again, read those ten points and tell me if a real “felony” has taken place? Once again our legal system is using a prominent black athlete as an example (see Michael Vick) and I find it appalling.
Basically, this says:
“If we can put a Super Bowl hero in jail for two years because he shot himself, imagine what we will do to you.”
People should be punished for committing crimes, but what happened to the concept of the punishment fitting the crime? How are people getting two years for dog fighting and shooting themselves, but only thirty days for DUI and manslaughter?
I have nothing against Donte Stallworth. He had a great lawyer, who got him an even greater deal, but the facts are, he was legally drunk and admitted to smoking weed before striking and killing a pedestrian. If you give Stallworth the benefit of the doubt and say it was more of a tragic accident than negligence, how can you justify his “accidental mistake” being worth twenty-three months less than what was handed down in the Plaxico Burress case?
Stallworth unfortunately took a life, and Burress could have taken one, including his own, but the Michael Vick sentence didn’t even involve humans and you know the severity of his sentence.
Honestly, I am disgusted with our legal system. I know for a fact there are people who have done far worse crimes than Plaxico Burress, who served far less time. If I had not majored in Journalism, Criminal Justice would have been the way to go.
Child molestation, burglary, assault and even attempted murder nets better “deals” than this two year sentence for a weapons charge.
The illegal possession gun law is in place to deter people who get guns illegally with the intent to commit crimes. I agree with the law because there are too many guns on our streets, in the hands of the wrong people. This was not the case with Plaxico Burress. The gun had been licensed and he had no intention of committing a crime. Some would say that he was justified considering his teammate, Steve Smith, was robbed just a week earlier. It is asinine that he be sent to jail for two years when real criminals are running free.
If his name were Peter Burress, and not Plaxico, I wonder if this case even gets prosecuted. Under this law if you try to commit suicide with an unlicensed gun and fail are you going to jail for two years? I highly doubt it. This is wrong on so many levels that I could write five more pages, but my point is clear. The reason Plaxico Burress is going to jail for two years is because his name is Plaxico Burress and if you don’t believe that you are naïve and foolish.
I do want to point out that in this case, Plaxico Burress is less than smart. There are reports (even I reported it) that he could have taken a plea deal last winter of a few months in jail and he turned that down. Those reports are disputed by some, but if true, Burress deserves part of the blame for his current predicament.
His actions after he shot himself were wrong. If he would have just reported it properly, it is possible he could have avoided this whole situation.
I am not saying Burress shouldn’t be punished. He broke the law and he could have killed someone, but the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. Burress has the classic reputation of a spoiled athlete who thought he was untouchable. I honestly hope after that what happened to Vick, Burress and to a lesser extent, Dante Stallworth, all athletes understand they have targets on their backs and as quickly as they succeed, our Justice System is just itching to make them the next “example” of failure.