Thursday, August 20, 2009

Paying The Stupid Tax

Plaxico gets 2 years:

NEW YORK -- Facing the prospect of spending at least 3½ years behind bars, one-time Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress on Thursday accepted a plea bargain with a two-year prison sentence for accidentally shooting himself in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub.

The former New York Giants wide receiver pleaded guilty to one count of attempted criminal possession of a weapon, a lesser charge than he had faced. He will be sentenced Sept. 22, and lawyer Benjamin Brafman said he expects Burress to begin serving his sentence immediately after.

Burress got into a black SUV without speaking to reporters outside Manhattan state Supreme Court, but Brafman said, "After an agonizing period of discussion, Plaxico decided that he wanted to do this, to put this behind him as quickly as possible."

Burress was indicted earlier this month on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment. He faced a minimum sentence of 3½ years if convicted at trial.

The guilty plea ends months of haggling between Brafman and the Manhattan district attorney's office. The case went to a grand jury after negotiations broke down, apparently because District Attorney Robert Morgenthau was insisting that Burress serve at least two years in prison.

Morgenthau did not comment on Burress' guilty plea.

Assistant District Attorney John Wolfstaetter said in court that Thursday was Burress' last chance to accept the deal.

Now I know some people will claim Plaxico was unfairly targeted or that his sentence was too harsh, but you can count me out of that conversation. I don't think NFL players have to be choir boys and I certainly wasn't, but what he did was just damned stupid. Somebody of his stature has the means and opportunity to hire his own bodyguards if he is worried about being jacked. Bigger than that, as a gun owner I can tell you that even if he was going to try to carry a gun illegally for his safety which is never advisable, just stuffing it in your pants is some bullshit. Just as easy as he shot himself that gun could have fallen out and gone off and shot someone else. Just because he had the misfortune of shooting himself which to be sure is on a lot of levels funny as hell, doesn't mean you forget the fact that the situation could have ended a lot more tragically.

I try to give guys passes on a variety of issues that I feel like we all kind of slip up on, but I have no patience for guys who commit dumb crimes.

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