Crime and punishment

It seems a little too simple to say, "Do the crime, do the time" or however that saying goes. Sometimes it is not so cut-and-dried.

I think about Plaxico Burress, former Steeler and NY Giant, who accidentally shot himself in the leg while at an NY nightclub with a gun he was not licensed to carry in NY. He will be going to jail for two years. He certainly deserves some prison time for breaking a law (and covering up what he did). But it seems kind of harsh to me. Had anyone else been hurt, I would have a different opinion, mind you. But I think a month or two in the pokey may have been more appropriate.

Which brings me to Donte Stallworth, a Cleveland Brown who killed a pedestrian while driving drunk. He got less than 30 days in prison (plus house arrest, probation, etc.). A man is dead because of what he did, so I feel as if he got off lightly. Yet from what I read and choose to believe, the act was not intentional and Stallworth feels remorseful. Of course, anyone who drives while under the influence knows what can happen. I am glad that football commish Goodell suspended him for an entire season at least. And I also think if he ever got behind the wheel after having even one drink, he should face a harsh jail sentence.

Then there is PETA's favorite son, Michael Vick. He deserved to be in jail for those 19 months, and I would not have been sorry to see a harsher sentence for his despicable cruelty towards dogs. On many levels, I think what he did was worse than what Stallworth did, since Vick knew what he was doing and he lied about it. But I think I am okay with the commish allowing him back in the NFL. If he had gotten a short sentence, I would feel totally different.

At some point, I think you have to let people move forward. What good does it do to keep them in prison for years or decades on end? And shouldn't they be able to make their living as they know how? Of course if you or I ever did something like any of the above, we would probably never get a job again...


chris h. said…
I think Plaxico's sentence is unreasonably harsh -- obviously he's being made an example of, though to whom, I don't know. Two years is a long time!

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