Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sure He Killed Someone, But He's A Nice Guy

I am not a lawyer and I don't know the specifics of either case well, but the apparent sentences in two similar trials from the sports-world right now tell you all you need to know about what celebrity and cash can do for you when you get busted.

Donte' Stallworth accidentally hit a pedestrian with his car, killing him. Stallworth was under the influence at the time of the accident. He happens to be a famous professional football player and is very rich. His victim was a construction worker.

Andrew Gallo accidentally hit another car, killing 3 passengers. Gallo fled the scene and was found to be under the influence at the time of the accident. He is not a professional athlete but one of his victims happened to have been one.

Guess which one was able to settle out of court with his victim's family and get the charges reduced to DUI manslaughter, with a sentence of a suspended license, 1000 hours of community service, 30 days in jail, and then lifetime probation so that he won't miss any work.

And guess which one faces 45 years to life in prison for three counts of 2nd degree murder.

By no means do I think Gallo is getting an unfair deal. He's likely getting the sentence that he deserves. But the fact that as long as you are a professional athlete with a good reputation, you can actually drive drunk and kill someone, and not miss a day of work is absurd and disgusting.

And why is it that Plaxico Burress is being treated like he burned down an orphanage when all he did was (staggeringly stupidly) shot himself in the leg in a bar? Michael Vick ran a dog-fighting ring. Disgusting. He is a clearly a terrible person and served prison time for his vile actions. But he didn't get drunk and kill someone. Stallworth is reportedly a stand up guy and was cooperative with police. And it was obviously an accident that he killed a man, but he killed a man.

Am I saying that Stallworth should be crucified? No. Should he serve more than a month in jail? Yes. But so should the officials responsible for this terrible iniquity, even travesty, of justice.

No comments: