Monday, June 22, 2009

No Regard For Human Life...

With just a glance at the three cases, and no knowledge of how they resulted, you would almost be certain you could predict the lesser of the three outcomes. A) An NFL receiver is arrested and charged with a DUI manslaughter. B) An R&B singer is charged with felony assault and criminalistic threats. C) An NFL quarterback is charged with funding and participating in a dogfighting ring.

While all illegal, and all very much warranted for punishment, only one of these crimes received an outcome that many people see fit. Michael Vick, one of the most uniquely talented football players in college and NFL history, just finished serving 23 months in a federal prison for being "the key figure" in a dogfighting operation. Thanks to good behavior, he was waived from having to serve an additional 3 years on state charges, but still remains released under home confinement and suspended without pay from the NFL until further notice.

Donte Stallworth, a Cleveland Browns receiver, killed a 59 year old pedestrian who was crossing the street as Stallworth drove well over the legal alcohol content limit and 10 miles over the speed limit. He plead guilty to the DUI and 2nd Degree manslaughter, and in turn was given a 30 day jail sentence, a suspended license and 8 years probation...for killing someone while driving drunk. He was also suspended indefinitely from the NFL after the commissioner was pressured to hand down a heavier punishment than what the jury gave to Stallworth.

Chris Brown, the youngest of the three, just received 5 years probation and 6 months of community service after pleading guilty to felony assault. I don't think he deserved life in prison, but he beat a young woman until she was recognizable only by the tattoos on her body. To me, that warrants a little more than community service.

I don't see how funding a dogfighting organization gets a heftier punishment from the courts and the public than killing a man or assaulting a woman. What Michael Vick did was wrong, and he remains the butt of jokes and ridicule even after serving nearly 2 years of jail time. If and when his suspension is lifted he will still have to convince NFL owners that he is worth the public backlash that will surely follow him to whatever team he ends up playing for down the line.

Chris Brown on the other hand, will continue to make music, tour, and rebuild his image with little resistance; all while serving his "punishment." Stallworth, although given jail time, will be out in a month or less, and received the worst of his punishment from the NFL's commissioner, not the judge and jury.

I hope all three of these young men learned their lessons. Whether or not they received jail time, they all made a mistake that warrants punishment. But when one of them is turned into a social pariah and former felon for allowing animals to be killed, while the other two are slapped on the wrists for harming, and in one case ending human life, something isn't right. I'm not in favor of crimes against animals but I am curious, had Mike Vick run over a dog and killed, it or severely beat one up, would he have gotten away with community service and a suspended license?



  1. The dogfighting gets a heftier punishment because it is dealing with money for one. The people participating in the dogfighting are winning money that the government can not tax.If the government can not tax it then more than likely you have committed a felony and that results in a harsher punishment than a misdemeanor of beating your girlfriend. It's all about money the federal government is very concerned about not having control over all money. Just like having a friendly game of poker in your house for money is a federal crime because money is being exchanged and the government can not tax it. Unless everyone started claiming dogfighting (which is inhumane anyway) or home poker winnings on their taxes then you wouldn't have the very harsh punishments or it may not even be a crime at all. Beating your wife or girlfriend has nothing to do with the federal laws it's crazy I know but reality.

  2. Great point! Thanks for your comment.


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