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Robert Littal
National Blogger

Robert Littal

CEO of Black Sports Online which brings the truth in sports.

Stupidity's Not Criminal

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Not surprisingly, a New York grand jury indicted Plaxico Buress on weapons charges Monday.

Mr. Burress will most certainly be sent to jail. It's just a matter of how long he'll have to stay. Clearly, there is no need to debate the New York State laws; they are what they are and Plaxico broke them. This is an open and shut case for the prosecution.

Looking ahead and considering his infraction, should he be able to play in the NFL again? I ask you, "How do you punish stupidity?"

Plaxico Burress is not a criminal, he was deficient in his decision-making. It was not smart to carry a loaded weapon without proper registration. It seems dumb to shoot yourself in the leg and even more so to attempt a cover up. In an ill-advised move, Plaxico turned down a plea agreement early on which might have served less time, instead he faces a possible two years in prison.

The fact that someone can be sent to jail for shooting themselves is asinine enough, but once he was in that situation he proved once again that athletes sometimes think they are above the law. He should ask Michael Vick how that thought process worked out for him.

Just as Michael Vick was conditionally reinstated after an offense far greater, in my opinion, than that of Plaxico Burress, I don't see any reason why Plax, after he is finished making license plates, should not be allowed to play.

Burress is being punished by our backward legal system for being stupid, arrogant and naïve; not for being a criminal.

Almost every team in the NFL has questionable characters on their team. Some are even convicted felons. No matter how badly Roger Goodell wishes it to be, this simply isn't a league of angels and saints.

Plaxico made a mistake. A mistake that he will no doubt be overly punished for and I think that should be punishment enough. There is no need for the NFL to shoot a man in his leg while he is down (pun intended.)

By Robert Littal  |  August 4, 2009; 7:25 AM ET  | Category:  Crime , NFL , New York Giants , Plaxico Burress , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Talent Always Gets Another Chance | Next: Shooting Self Could Be A Life Sentence

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This one is such a tough topic for me. I'm a Giants fan 1st and a Plaxico fan 2nd. S o this entire situation has just kept me from commenting...I've just watched from the sidelines b/c I knew I wouldn't be able to objectively look at it fairly.

But your article strikes the perfect balance that not many have been able to do. Yes he was wrong for what he did but it's more bad decision-making than criminal. And yes he made his second biggest mistake in not taking the plea deal the DA offered by dragging this on.

It hurts watching a player with so much talent and success fall so quickly so fast. His legacy has completely collapsed and it's really sad!

Posted by: xikhai | August 4, 2009 10:21 AM

Hey, look, he's not being prosecuted for shooting himself. He's being prosecuted for taking a loaded gun into a crowded NY nightclub. That is a Class A felony in Manhattan I assure you. He was too stupid to take a deal and with an open and shut case, he's going to draw three hard years plus. And he deserves to flatten every minute of it.

Posted by: jhpurdy | August 4, 2009 10:46 AM

I think you need to change you title that you "bring out the truth in sports" since you first need to get your facts straight. Mr. Burress is being prosecuted not for shooting himself in the leg but rather two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment (discharging a gun in a public place). Yes he was stupid but he is not being punished for that and you know it. He is charged with violating various laws and that is what he will likely be punished for. If he is convicted, he will be a criminal. So then he will be both stupid and a criminal.

Posted by: pjjacobs | August 4, 2009 11:03 AM

Plaxico is being prosecuted for stupidity but Bush is going scot free for crimes against humanity.

Posted by: bgreston | August 4, 2009 11:31 AM

While our legal system is in many ways "backward" and "asinine," it's not because the system punishes arrogant jerks who take loaded weapons without the safeties on into crowds. That bullet could just as well have killed some random person near by. Burress should stop whining and count himself lucky.

Posted by: naranja | August 4, 2009 12:29 PM

If stupity was a crime then you would be in jail for writting this column. Was he 'stupid', yes. Was his stupidity a crime, yes. Is just plain old 'stupid' a crime, no. He was not plain old stupid; he was criminal stupid and there is a price to pay for that. Ditto for all the above comments on what he was really charged with; stupidity not being one of them.

Posted by: lewandow | August 4, 2009 12:55 PM

Stupidity is not the issue here it really is ignorance of the law. Buress first response was that he had a permit in Florida and you know what it was expired. Also, the laws for Florida are not the same as New York or New York city.
Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

Posted by: FormerNewYorkerNo9 | August 4, 2009 2:07 PM

Maybe NY should come up with a mandatory law the prohibits cops to shoot 50 rounds into a car at an unarmed man at 2:00am while he is out on his bachelor party night. Maybe those cops who are even more deserving of jail than Plaxico could be joining him. But it seems bloomberg was not soo determine to see that happen as he was to show plaxico he is not above the law. Cops seem to have a better chance at breaking the law and getting away with it in NYC than a football player.

Posted by: ged0386 | August 4, 2009 2:21 PM

These are probably the dumbest comments I have ever read in a blog from someone who wrote the blog article.

"Plaxico Burress is not a criminal, he was deficient in his decision-making." His decision-making deficiency was to commit a crime by carrying a loaded weapon without a license.

"The fact that someone can be sent to jail for shooting themselves is asinine enough." What is asinine is that you confuse the reason for discovery of his crime with the crime itself. Shooting himself isn't the offense, it is just what got him caught.

"Burress is being punished by our backward legal system for being stupid, arrogant and naïve; not for being a criminal." What is backward here, the law against carrying a loaded weapon without a license?

For goodness sake, if you think the punishment for carrying a loaded weapon into a public place that serves alcohol until late in the morning should be less than what he is likely to get, say so. Just don't be intellecutally dishonest in the way you do it.

Posted by: wvanpup | August 4, 2009 3:52 PM

He didn't just break the law by carrying a loaded weapon - the gun actually went off! What if the bullet hit an innocent bystander? It's pure dumb luck that someone else didn't get hurt or even killed. That is why Plax should be punished by the law and by the NFL.

Posted by: rgb131 | August 4, 2009 5:32 PM

"The fact that someone can be sent to jail for shooting themselves is asinine enough,..."

Huh? Plax is going to jail because he carried a concealed weapon without a permit, discharged it in a crowded public area, and mercifully avoided harming or killing anyone else.

He then proceeded to conspire to conceal his crime.

I hope he gets the maximum but he won't because what is really asinine here is that a person who can jump high, run fast, and catch the pigskin is accorded extra-special treatment.

How asinine is that? Plenty.

Plax did the crime he should do the time and if it costs him the rest of his career at least the people in the night club can be thankful he didn't kill anyone.

Posted by: krankyman | August 4, 2009 5:38 PM

Plaxico is being prosecuted for stupidity but Bush is going scot free for crimes against humanity.

Posted by: bgreston | August 4, 2009 11:31 AM
===========================================
Please, take the psychic enema and get it out of your system.

Posted by: krankyman | August 4, 2009 5:44 PM

Yes, we all know there are two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment.

However, the end result is that Plaxico only harmed himself. Most people in the club did not even know it happened.

Does someone do 2 years jail for a first time drunk driving offense??? That is reckless endangerment too.


Posted by: loux24 | August 4, 2009 7:37 PM

It is time for you to get a clue. I am not sure journalism is for you, perhaps, you should find other work. Do you really think that Plax is going to jail for shooting himself???

Posted by: cloverct63 | August 5, 2009 5:52 AM

Black Sports On Line? Kinda racist isn't it? How about White Sports on Line? That would be racist too. How about Sports on Line? Uniracist and politically correct.

Posted by: GeorgeSSC | August 5, 2009 5:56 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
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