Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Wednesday, June 17, 2009

So, you tell me kiddies…are we totally f**ked as a collective group of citizens, do we now judge based upon the ‘image’ of a person.

The crime is unimportant?

If you act with remorse and reach out to the victims you are treated differently than if you are arrogant and offend people?

Here is the situation. Michael Vick, y’all know him…Atlanta Falcons quarterback. Rich as all get out. Struts around with an attitude and a posse, feeling like the world should get out of his way.

Along with your posse you are into dog fighting – a disgusting ‘sport’ that goes on in basements all over the country.

Michael gets caught and denies denies denies. He gets arrogant and ticks off groups like PETA (a bunch of scary people IMHO)…and he fights for his innocence.

What happens? He goes to court – stays arrogant – and is sentenced to two years in jail and more time under house arrest. He loses his job with the Atlanta Falcons and can not be reinstated into the NFL to find another job, until Commissioner Goodell deems his remorseful is sincere. At the same time the above named group of scary people are continuing their fight to ensure this man never works at his profession again.

The killing of any animal is sick. Dog fighting is wrong. It is illegal. Michael Vick needed to pay for his crimes. He has. Like any other American convicted of a crime he now deserves the opportunity to get his life back and try and play football. No group has the right to deny him this.

Dante Stallworth. This name you may not know…or maybe you have just begun hearing it recently.

Dante plays football also. He is a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns. On March 13, 2009, Dante spent the night drinking at Miami Beach's Fountainebleau hotel. On his way home Dante ran down 59-year-old Mario Reyes as he was crossing the street.

Stallworth told the court he flashed his lights when he saw Reyes in the road, but still struck and killed the man, a construction crane operator, who was rushing to catch a bus after finishing his shift around 7:15 a.m. (ummm 7:15am, Miami...March...sun is up - what does flashing your lights do?)

Stallworth was driving about 50 in a 40 MPH zone and blew a 1.2 on the sobriety scale, well above the legal limit of .08. (On his way home from partying all night I can't believe his alcohol level was that low!)

So, what happens? Stallworth made a financial arrangement with the family of Mr. Reyes to avoid a lawsuit. Their attorney, Rodolfo Suarez, read a statement saying the family wants to "bring closure to this emotional and tragic event." Suarez was not immediately available to comment after the hearing.

In today’s world ‘closure’ means ‘show me the money' I guess.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle cited Stallworth's lack of previous criminal record, cooperation with police and willingness to accept responsibility as factors in the plea deal. Rundle also said the Reyes family — particularly the victim's 15-year-old daughter — wanted the case resolved to avoid any more pain.

"For all of these reasons, a just resolution of this case has been reached," Rundle said.

So, yesterday Stallworth stood in court and learned his fate. Ready kiddies…..?

30 days in jail
he must undergo drug and alcohol testing
he will have a lifetime driver's license suspension
he must perform 1,000 hours of community service.

Stallworths attorney, Chris Lyons said after five years, Stallworth could win approval for limited driving such as for employment.

Stallworth faced 15 years in prison. After his release from jail, Stallworth must serve two years of house arrest and spend eight years on probation.

No word from the NFL if Stallworth will be able to play football this year. Stallworth signed a seven-year, $35 million contract with the Browns before last season and the night before the crash, Stallworth earned a $4.5 million roster bonus from the Browns. (Let's Party all-night long boys, papa got paid!)

So, here we have it kiddies…kill a dog, show no remorse…2 years.

Kill a human, show remorse…30 days.

So, you tell me kiddies, I ask again…are we totally f**ked as a collective group of citizens, do we now judge based upon the ‘image’ of a person.

The crime is unimportant?

I truly appreciate the signs of friendship I received.

That stuff is just a little too much Jail House Rock for me....This, on the other hand is P-E-R-F-E-C-T!

10 Of Your Sparks

  1. DrillerAA09 Says:
  2. The justice system is not about justice anymore, maybe it never was,rather, it is about winning and losing. It is about getting the best deal for your client regardless of the situation.
    And yes, PETA is a scary organization that does appear to have skewed values. I'll just leave it at that.

  3. Schmoop Says:
  4. Completely effed up ain't it? Vick is getting the big middle finger. He did his time but you know what, Vinny?

    Vick's crimes were perpetrated against cute puppy dogs. Many Americans are more appalled when an animal is trangressed against rather than another human being.

    I think that fact is whacked out...much like the "parity" of sentencing examples you gave. Oy!!

    Vick did his time for his crime...He's bankrupt...Some folks still loathe him. What the else is there left to give? Cheers, Dammit!!

  5. There should not be different outcomes for someone rich enough to pay off the victims families. All your points are well taken.

  6. katherine. Says:
  7. deep breath

    the Vick situation has been an issue for me for quite some time. N

    The number of NFL players involved in serious domestic violence charges is significant.

    Not that the dog fights weren't tragic...but ya know...Michael Vick paid his debt to society. And I am fairly certain given the chance he would continue to make retribution.

    To allow any one NFL player to go unscathed for physical abuse to a HUMAN, and then to forbid Vick to play is atrocious.

    I read the reports on Stallworth. The court has ruled. The Reyes family made their decision and that is their right.

    We'll see what Goodall does with Stallworth and with Vick.

    If Stallworth gets to play and Vick doesn't...I'm gonna figure out a way to start some sort of letter writing campaign.

  8. Fred Says:
  9. Wow, we were just talking about this very issue today. And, you hit it...the $$ sealed the deal. It truly shows the rich do get a better deal. The only question left: how much did it cost Stallworth?

  10. Mimi Lenox Says:
  11. What Bud said.
    Great post. Comparing the two situations makes NO sense whatsoever.

  12. Tug Says:
  13. Wow. Absolutely insane... I haven't believed in our justice system for some time now though. Sad, but true.

  14. Jessica Says:
  15. Total BS on both accounts! WTF is right!

  16. Travis Cody Says:
  17. I don't condone drinking and driving and I don't condone animal abuse.

    I think that if you show remorse and offer what restitution you can afford, then that should be taken into account. I think that if you lie and try to deny and hide what you did, then that should be taken into account.

    I don't think celebrities or athletes should be punished any more harshly than any ordinary citizen. I don't think celebrities or athletes should be punished any more leniently than any ordinary citizen.

    I don't know enough facts in either case to determine whether either punishment was appropriate or correct. Luckily that's not my job. But there isn't any punishment that is going to bring back Mr Reyes, and Mr Stallworth is going to have to live with his responsibility for the death of another human being for the rest of his life.

  18. Coco Says:
  19. I can't be objective about the dog thing because I think that anyone who would participate in such a horrific pastime is a certified sicko and I think he got off lightly. That is not a person I want to see as the role model for anyone which, face it, most athletic pros tend to be, so I don't think he should be reinstated.

    As far as the poor guy who got mowed down by another pro athlete with a God complex, I think maybe the focus should be more on the family who were so obviously willing to put a pricetag on the life of a family member. Seriously, though, why don't these self-indulgent party animals get a clue - it's not like there aren't enough advertisements out there about the consequences of drunk driving. YES, it CAN happen to anyone. (Okay, down girl!)

    On a lighter note - I happened to glance over at the table where B-man is creating the diagram for yet another fearsome weapon after clicking the music playbar and saw his little butt wiggling along with the music. My kid has awesome taste in music.


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