This is a sports topic in some regard, but it is more of a legal and criminal justice topic. I also realize that this is a very contraversial subject. It is not my intention to ruffle any feathers. Let's just get straight to the facts.
Donte' Stallworth, while drunk, collided with a 59 year old pedestrian and killed the father of one early in the morning (7:15am) in Miami after a night (and part of the morning) of heavy drinking. In addition to 1000 hours of community service, a donation to MADD, 2 years of house arrest and a potential lifetime loss of his driver's license, Stallworth got 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter. The prosecutor cited Stallworth's clean record, cooperation with the police and a private settlement with the family of the victim as factors for his unbelievably short and light sentence. Stallworth's BAC when he was pulled over was .123, more than 50% higher than Florida's .08 legal limit. Stallworth has recently been suspended indefinitely by the NFL. He is likely to be cut by the Browns, his current employer.
On the other hand, Michael Vick served 23 months in Federal prison for his participation in a dog fighting ring. No people were killed. No people were hurt. No families were destroyed. Countless millions of dollars in bonus money, endorsements and game checks were and will be lost. Vick may never play in the NFL again. (I said may, relax).
Let's recap, shall we? Stallworth killed a man the night after earning a $4.5 million dollar bonus. Killed a man. As in killed him dead. Vick, directly and indirectly, killed and had killed numerous pit bulls. Look, I love dogs as much as the next guy. But, in no way would I equate the killing of a dog with the killing of a human being. Yes, what Vick did was horrible. Disgusting. Reprehensible.
How does a person who kills another human being get 30 days in jail while a person who killed some dogs get 23 months in Federal prison? Does that not incense anyone else???
I understand that taking responsibility for one's action garners support from the criminal justice system. Staying at the scene of the crime and cooperating with the police are good steps towards taking responsibility for what a person did. But, let's not lose sight of the fact that a man was killed. Killed because he was crossing the street at 7:15am. And because Stallworth was driving after drinking (heavily). Taking a breathalyzer after killing a person does not absolve a person of killing another person. Hello?
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