Our Beloved, yet Flawed, System of Justice

Alright, once again, I am totally pissed off.

New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress has been sentenced to two years in prison for carrying a gun into a New York City nightclub on November 28, 2008. Now, a lot of you could easily look at this just another felon behind the cold, rape-inducing bars of justice, and if that’s the case, then stop reading this right now.

For those of you who are unaware of the incident itself, here it is in a nutshell.

On November 28, 2008, Plaxico Burress and teammate Antonio Pierce went to a nightclub, LQ, in New York City. At some point, the gun slid down his leg and when he went to secure it, he accidentally depressed the trigger and the gun went off, wounding Burress in his right thigh.
He checked into New York-Presbyterian Hospital under and assumed name and received his treatment, checking out the next morning. Antonio Pierce dumped the gun and was really never heard from again, regarding the incident. Burress’ lawyer sucked at defending him and on September 22, 2008, he was given his sentence.

Plaxico Burress is just another victim of a completely slanted and horribly biased judicial system. I do admit that carrying a gun into the nightclub wasn’t the brightest move Burress ever made, but does it really constitute two fucking years in prison? No. Does it constitute the first part of his sentence being held at Rikers Island, which is called the “world’s largest penal colony” and has a notorious history of truly fucked up things that have happened there.

A Small Collection of the Atrocities At Rikers Island

1. In February 2008, a guard named Lloyd Nicholson used a group of teenage inmates as enforcers during a regimen called “The Program”, as well as beating inmates himself.

2. On October 4, 2007, the New York City Department of Corrections stated that “tens of thousands of nonviolent inmates taken to Rikers Island on misdemeanor charges had been wrongly strip-searched in violation of a 2002 court settlement, and were entitled to payment for damages”. As many as 150,000 such inmates have been searched at Rikers Island since 2002, lawyers for the inmates stated. The policy was kept in place despite a United States Court of Appeals for the Second Curcuit ruling in 2001 that strip-searches involving misdemeanor suspects were illegal, unless under the suspicion of contraband.

Lead lawyer Richard D. Emery charged in his papers that department officials “repeatedly resorted to lying to cover up deliberate indifference to the continued practice of humiliating detainees by forcing them to strip naked in groups”.

3. The July 2008 rape of a female inmate was reported in the August 5, 2008 edition of Village Voice. The victim stated that “someone entered her cell in the 1000-bed Rose M. Singer Center while she was asleep, sometime before 6am on July 3”. She said the intruder, or intruders, bound and gagged her with her bedsheets, then used a dildo-like object to sexually assault her. The woman was found at around 6am by a guard and a captain who were touring the building. The guard saw her laying on her back, with the bedsheets wrapped around her neck, mouth, and legs, and blindfolded. The incident was reported to Central Command around 7:30am and she was transported to Elmhurst Hospital Center.

The major question is that because the woman didn’t share a cell with anyone, then how could the event have happened. Officials refuse to talk about the situation and no arrests have been made. Hmm…

4. Also in 2008, guards were investigated for giving pot, cigarettes, and alcohol to an inmate, who ironically, was a convicted cop killer by the name of Lee Woods.

5. On April 27, 2008, 18-year-old Steven Morales commited suicide in the high-security lock-down unit. That translates to “guards eyes on you all the time”.

On February 3, 2009, the New York Times reported that “the pattern of cases suggests that city correction officials have been aware of a problem in which Rikers guards have acquiesced or encouraged violence among inmates.” The Times added that “There have been at least seven lawsuits filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan accusing guards of complicity or acquiescence in inmate violence at Rikers, a complex of 10 detention facilities which, along with several other jails around the city, hold about 13,000 prisoners, most of whom are pretrial detainees. None of the seven suits have gone to trial. In the three that were settled, the city admitted no liability or wrongdoing”.

Right. And I’m supposed to believe that Plaxico Burress’ crime deserves a stay in this layer of Hell? Not like he killed anyone. But, you know who did…

Donte Stallworth, another wide receiver who played for the Cleveland Browns actually did kill somebody. On the morning of March 15, 2009, Donte Stallworth struck and killed a pedestrian, one 59-year-old Mario Reyes, in Miami Beach, Florida. His blood alcohol level was .12, which is over the legal .08 limit in Florida. Stallworth claimed he flashed his lights to warn Reyes so he wouldn’t hit him, but he just should have slowed down. But, he couldn’t do that going 50moh in a 40mph zone in his 2005 Bentley Continental GT, which turned Mr. Reyes into a human-sized raccoon in the middle of the road.

Stallworth was formally charged with DUI and second-degree manslaughter on April 1, 2009 and surrendered himself the next day. He plead guilty, received only twenty-four days (of a thirty day sentence) in jail (not prison), one-thousand hours of community service, two years of house arrest, and eight years of probation. FOR KILLING SOMEONE! REALLY?!

And how about “Pacman” Jones, who ACTUALLY shot people outside of a Las Vegas nightclub in 2007? He got one year in prison, one year of probation, and one-hundred hours of community service.

Not only that, but Roger Goodell (NFL commissioner extraordinare) will reinstate Stallworth back in the NFL after Super Bowl XLIV, which means, dear readers, that Stallworth is only out for ONE YEAR!

*facepalm*

Of course, Mr. Goodell has a history of reinstating the unworthy. He let The Doggie Silencer back in a few weeks ago.

A new question arises in the wake of all this witch-hunting. What about Antonio Pierce? What happens to him? Well, he dras from the Chance pile and holds up a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card. I’m disgusted.

Let’s also not forget the very public and outrageous statements that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said to the press. Bloomber has had a history of running his mouth without control, within the Burress ordeal he said he was going to “make an example out of [Plaxico] Burress”. When discovery of a communications failure between the hospital and the police department caught his attention, Bloomberg called the miscommunication an “outrage” and that the failure to inform authroities is a “chargeable offense”. He also was vocal about chargin Burress to the fullest extent of the law, which would have been three-and-a-half years, citing that anything shorter would be a “mockery of the law”.

Bloomberg has been accused of sexually harrassing men and women from his billion-dollar enterprise, Bloomberg L.P., which has been denied every time by Bloomberg and his All-Pro defense of lawyers and advisors. In 1997, a former employee at Bloomberg L.P. filed a lawsuit against Bloomberg, stating that when she became pregnant while working there, Bloomberg told her to “Kill It!” and “great, number 16”, which is considered to be a reference to the number of pregnant women in the company.

In December 2008, Portfolio Magazine published a story titled “Mayor Bloomberg’s Delicate Condition”. It reported that in September 2007, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a class-action lawsuit against Bloomberg’s company on behalf of three women who worked on the buisness side, and a group of other women who worked at Bloomberg’s company between 2002 and the present. The article said “the plaintiffs now total seventy-two, out of about five-hundred women who took maternity leave during that time, a high percentage, according to the agency”.

Hmm, would you want this man holding your future in his hands?

The point of the matter is that Burress was given a notorious sentence for a crime that didn’t justify it. Noe, you all may be thinking, “he could have hurt someone”. Yeah, he could’ve, but he didn’t. In law, it’s never about “woulda-shoulda-coulda’s”, it’s about the facts, and the fact is that the only person hurt by this was Burress himself, physically, emotionally, and mentally.

If he really didn’t do anything that bad, then why did he get this sentence? I honestly couldn’t answer that. I don’t know why Burress can shoot himself and get two years in prison and the loss of his career, while someone like “Pacman” Jones can actually cripple somebody else, literally, get only one year and a full-reinstatement, wherein he joined the Dallas Cowboys. Burress wont get that. He’s 31-years-old. He’ll be nearly 34 when he gets out and that. my friends, is when the average long-term player retires.

So, yeah, I couldn’t tell you why this witch-hunt had to happen. But…

Bloomberg was raised in Boston.

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About Robert L. Franklin

Ah, the About Me section - social networking's excuse for you sounding like an elitist prick. Hmm... what to say? What to say?
This entry was posted in America: The Blog, Back Page Sports. Bookmark the permalink.

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