Wherein the Justice System is Flawed and Bulls*!t

On March 14, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth, while driving drunk, struck and killed a pedestrian. On May 20, Michael Vick was released from prison after serving 21 months in prison for his role in a dog-fighting ring and has another 2 months under house arrest.

With today’s plea agreement, Donte Stallworth will be serving a grand total of 30 DAYS in prison for getting behind the wheel and KILLING a person. In addition Stallworth made an undisclosed agreement with the family of the victim for financial compensation. He will serve 30 DAYS in prison. FOR KILLING A PERSON. Michael Vick, kills and hurts some dogs and serves 21 MONTHS.

Continue after the jump for my full opinion about this ridiculous situation

When you get behind the wheel drunk you are knowingly putting yourself in a situation that is dangerous. But this is completely embarrassingly ridiculous of the judicial system. I am in no way arguing that Vick’s case should have any bearing on Stallworth’s, but the fact that a person can KILL ANOTHER PERSON and suffer 1/23 of the same punishment as a dog-killer is absolutely INEXCUSABLE.

I’m not an animal person, so I don’t have some big attachment to pets, I’ve been accused of being dead inside more than once; BUT when it comes to choosing people or choosing animals that is ALWAYS an easy choice for me. Apparently, for the justice system that is not the case. Even more importantly, while this happened today and so is in the news, the likelihood of the Stallworth pleas being in the news cycle after this week is extremely low. The story will be glossed over and ignored.

WHY!? Is it because at some point many people have at some point driven when they might have been too impaired to do so? People can connect to the act because they’ve done it and so don’t see it as awful because after all, anything THEY do can’t be THAT bad. At the same time, most people have never even BEEN to a dog-fight, let alone participate in running and owning a DOG FIGHTING RING. But you know what, that’s FUCKING BULLSHIT. On average over 3,000 people are killed by drunk drivers and over 100,000 people are pulled over for DUIs. So it must be not a huge deal.

The media outcry and circus surrounding Michael Vick has been non-stop, from following every movement during his trials, to him being taken to prison to his recent release to house arrest, every action has been breathlessly chronicled. And why not, after all he’s SUCH a bad man. Dogs are MUCH more important than people. I remember how many times I’ve sat and listened to the incredibly beautiful music that some dog composed, or sat down and read a thoughtful, insightful piece written by some canine that helps me understand the world.

Oh no, wait, DOGS DON’T DO THAT, that’s PEOPLE who are capable of doing those things. No, dogs provide companionship and slobber. Great.

Meanwhile, the media consensus says that any team that signs Michael Vick is making a major PR blunder but, thanks to his sentence, Stallworth will be out in time for training camp. You know what will happen when he shows up? NOT A GODDAMN THING. He’ll be welcomed back on the field, welcomed back to the team like nothing happened. He bought off the family and so who cares right? It’s not like he KILLED SOMEONE.

Michael Vick has to fight his way to even be reinstated but Leonard Little (another football player who has KILLED a person drunk driving) and Stallworth are allowed to go along on their merry little ways.

If you are stopped with a DUI you could just as easily be charged with attempted murder. Maybe you didn’t hit anyone but that’s just luck, you’re still an asshole. I’m just glad to know that in the eyes of the media and the justice system people’s lives are MARKEDLY less important than that of a schnauzer. That’s good to know.

6 Responses to “Wherein the Justice System is Flawed and Bulls*!t”

  1. 1 cockflavored
    June 16, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Donte Stallworth didn’t drunkenly drive on the sidewalk, he didn’t run a red light, nor did he lose control of his car. He was slightly speeding and a man while trying to catch a bus, runs across a highway clearly in a no-walk area gets hit.

    I am in no way condoning drinking and driving, but you simply cannot compare the two acts. Vick purposely set up and ran a dog fighting ring, breaking dozens of laws. Donte had a guy run out in front of his (*cough quarter million dollar*) Bentley, something that could happen to anyone (albeit without the pimp ride).

    • June 16, 2009 at 2:31 pm

      Sure, the guy ran in front and is, at least partially, responsible. But simple question: If Stallworth is SOBER does that guy die? A NFL athlete, with highly tuned instincts and muscle control and sober should have zero problem avoiding a pedestrian. Drunk, he doesn’t have the reaction time or ability. Did he get in the car and plan on killing someone? Absolutely not. But did he get in the car knowing he was drunk? Did he choose to drive? Does he have enough money to pay for a cab? There were options available to him, he chose NONE of them and made the worst possible choice.

      I am also in no way saying that Michael Vick didn’t violate the laws, he DID, but my point is that the punishments are unequal and the media scrutiny is COMPLETELY unequal. If I had to choose someone killing my dog and someone killing my father, that’s not a hard choice for me, and it shouldn’t be for any reasonable person.

  2. 3 shatraw
    June 16, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    you have made a poor argument here, as you are not comparing the perpetrators of the crime, but the victims. the victims is this particular rant of yours really have nothing to do with the crimes.

    michael vick is a malicious, methodical business man who knowingly indulged in a lengthy enterprise to make mad money participating in unyielding — and disgusting — illegal activity.

    donte stallworth is guilty of something that up until the insurance companies got to rewrite the dictionary a few years ago was called an “accident.” (don’t counter punch by saying i’m downplaying drunk driving. because i’m not. i’m just putting the intent into perspective.)

    you have to look at this from the stand point of criminal intent. drunk driving, while retarded and illegal, is not a premeditated act meant to kill. thus, perpetrators are punished on such a scale. i will concede, however, stallworth seemed to get off pretty light on this same scale. i am assuming he is paying every cent in his name to this family to keep his ass out of prison.

    however, an illegal business pillowed by unlicensed interstate trade and racketeering with clear and malicious intent deserves a heavy punishment. he didn’t get sent up on animal cruelty charges. that just painted him out to be an asshole.

    the media cries out at vick because that’s something most people can get behind. a DUI death is just sad. no one wants to jump on that guy. we all already know he ruined his life and someone else’s. that guilt should be enough of a burden. vick never seemed like he gave a fuck. so we chased him with torches and pitchforks.

    anyway, this has nothing to do with animals vs. people. (although frankly, the human population probably needs to start a spay/neutering program of it’s own.) it’s all about criminal intent, slanch. for further exploration of the subject, consult vincent d’nofrio.

    • June 16, 2009 at 2:58 pm

      OK, you make a very good point about the victims vs. perpetrators.

      HOWEVER, I still argue that WHAT michael vick did was NOT worse than KILLING A PERSON

      For one thing this is about me HATING DRUNK DRIVERS, it’s INFURIATING to me to see people do it and particularly how many athletes do it and get busted and how they always get off light no matter what. I get that celebrity justice is different than real justice, but still. Drunk driving to me is INEXCUSABLE, people laugh it off and think its no big deal but it isn’t, its a HUGE fucking deal. Ask the kids of Donte’s victim if it is a big deal.

      Michael Vick deserved to go to prison, not so much for the dog cruelty stuff but for the racketeering, gambling etc, my issue wasnt that he went to jail, my issue is that in terms of penalties, he got much more punishment for gambling and racketeering than Stallworth for the killing of another person, that to me is awful.

      Drunk driving is the ultimate in selfish acts and if you’re going to be that selfish then you deserve massive penalties. Stallworth makes MILLIONS of dollars, there wasnt any way he could call a cab? Oh, he doesnt want to leave his bentley at the club? I guarantee you there are 12,000 ways he could have gotten it home without him driving, you have money you can make anything happen. but no, he instead KNOWINGLY got behind the wheel drunk. He may not have maliciously intended to kill the particular person he did, but by getting behind that wheel he knew he was impaired and knew that such a thing COULD happen and is MORE likely to happen than if he were sober. its irresponsible, reckless and dangerous, and it turned out to be fatal.

      I dont care about either of these guys in the long run. I just think that if you kill someone the media should care a lot more about it than if you fight dogs. Or you know what, I dont care if they care MORE, but they should sure as fuck care EQUALLY

    • June 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm

      Also, while you and I are intelligent enough to get that Vick was imprisoned for his role in gambling, racketeering etc, the MAJORITY of america looks at it as for being cruel to dogs and THAT is the angle that is ALWAYS played up in the media. When PETA wants Vick to do a commercial they could give a fuck about loansharking and gambling, they only care about the dogs. When people stood protesting him at his trial or outside his house they do so with their dogs at their side and dogs on their posters and are horrified he was cruel to a puppy.

      When an NFL team signs him you’re going to hear all about dogs and cruelty to them but you wont hear about gambling. Partially that’s the NFL trying to cover it up and ignore it, since that is a MUCH large issue for the league and could prove to be much more detrimental.

      Too many people care about pets more than people and it’s embarrassing.

  3. 6 kimmy_gibbler
    June 17, 2009 at 1:41 am

    I think we’re all missing the point here. Some greater knowledge can be gained from this tragedy, and it reads as thus: DON’T DO STEROIDS, or the Congress will be PISSED.

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