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Stallworth Suspended for Entire Season


i_am_the_swammi
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IMO....harsh, considering the law felt that the victim was significantly more to blame in this than Stallworth. Somewhere, leonard Little and his 4-gamer are smiling.

 

Donte' Stallworth suspended without pay for season

By RACHEL COHEN, AP Sports Writer Rachel Cohen, Ap Sports Writer – 14 mins ago

 

NEW YORK – Cleveland Browns receiver Donte' Stallworth was suspended without pay for this season Thursday after pleading guilty to killing a pedestrian while driving drunk. He cannot participate in any team activities until his reinstatement after the Super Bowl.

 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Stallworth placed a "stain" on the reputation of the league and all its players.

 

Stallworth struck 59-year-old Mario Reyes on March 14 in Miami. He pleaded guilty June 16 to DUI manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and was suspended indefinitely by Goodell two days later.

 

Stallworth drew a 30-day jail sentence and reached an undisclosed financial settlement with the family of Reyes, who was leaving his crane operator job when he was struck.

 

In a letter to Stallworth released by the NFL, Goodell said he didn't take into account the sentence in determining the 28-year-old player violated the league's substances of abuse and personal conduct policies.

 

"Your conduct endangered yourself and others, leading to the death of an innocent man," Goodell wrote. "The NFL and NFL players must live with the stain that you have placed on their reputations."

 

Goodell held a hearing with Stallworth, his representatives and union officials Aug. 5. He also met privately with Stallworth on Monday at the player's request.

 

Police said Stallworth had spent the night drinking at a Miami Beach club and had a blood-alcohol level of .126, above Florida's .08 legal limit. Besides jail time, his sentence included two years of house arrest, eight years of probation and other restrictions.

 

A college star at Tennessee, Stallworth has also played for the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints. His first year with Cleveland was marred by injuries. He hurt his leg in training camp, which sidelined him for most of the season.

 

The Browns signed him to a seven-year, $35 million contract in 2008, hoping he could be a complementary No. 2 receiver and take pressure off Braylon Edwards. But Stallworth never got going because of the injury and made only seven starts. Edwards spent the season dropping important passes and Cleveland finished a disappointing 4-12.

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If the victim wan't breaking the law by running across the middle of a 3-lane highway, he wouldn't be dead.

I guess I'd chalk it up to both people being at some fault. Regardless, the year suspension seems harsh when the precedent was more along 4-6 games. Goodell seems determine to put his stamp on the league. Whether that is a good thing is debatable.

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I'd say the punishment is fair. Both parties have to assume some responsiblity for what happened. If Stallworth wasn't impaired, maybe he stops in time, swerves, or slows down enough to avoid killing the guy. We'll never know, but it's fair to assume he is partially responsible for the death of another human being. For that he does a few weeks in jail, pays off the family and next year has an opportunity to start earning millions again. Cry me a f'n river.

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I'd say the punishment is fair. Both parties have to assume some responsiblity for what happened. If Stallworth wasn't impaired, maybe he stops in time, swerves, or slows down enough to avoid killing the guy. We'll never know, but it's fair to assume he is partially responsible for the death of another human being. For that he does a few weeks in jail, pays off the family and next year has an opportunity to start earning millions again. Cry me a f'n river.

I guess that is the law though. If it was in a different state and he served two years in jail and 10 years on probation, would you still think he should sit out a year? My point is just that this shouldn't be a way to adjust for inadequacies of the judicial system.

 

Plaxico may get two years in jail for shooting himself with an unregistered gun in New York, but he might get a slap on the wrist if he was in Texas for instance. Should the commissioner let NY Plaxico back in the league right away but make TX Plaxico wait a season out? I just don't know where it ends and that is what bothers me. The Goodell-justice-o-meter doesn't seem to be a well calibrated machine.

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I guess that is the law though. If it was in a different state and he served two years in jail and 10 years on probation, would you still think he should sit out a year? My point is just that this shouldn't be a way to adjust for inadequacies of the judicial system.

 

Plaxico may get two years in jail for shooting himself with an unregistered gun in New York, but he might get a slap on the wrist if he was in Texas for instance. Should the commissioner let NY Plaxico back in the league right away but make TX Plaxico wait a season out? I just don't know where it ends and that is what bothers me. The Goodell-justice-o-meter doesn't seem to be a well calibrated machine.

 

I agree, there should be some kind of published matrix of offenses and punishments so there is no ambiguity, also something stating whether suspensions are concurrent with prison sentences or to be served afterwards.

 

In the example you cited, the league could simply state that if you are convicted of an offense that carries X penalty, you will be suspended for X number of games. Since Plaxico was in NYC at the time, the onus is on him to know the law. Or the league could say, if you are convicted of a felony involving a firearm, the suspension is X number of games. Get really specific and include provisions for every criminal offense, and disregard the prison sentence or lack thereof.

 

For the record I would have no problem if Little was banned from football after killing that innocent woman. If the league made that their policy, it might lead to a change in behavior. There are plenty of guys hungry to make NFL teams who will stay out of trouble.

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I guess the only problem I have with the suspension is that he got much, much more than other offenders who driven drunk and/or were using Josh Gordon.

 

Not to sound harsh, but the fact that someone died is solely due to the fact that the victim himself was breaking the law. There is 100% no question that the reason there was a death was because the guy was breaking the law by jaywalking. Had he not also been breaking the law, there would have been no accident, and thus we likely never would have known Stallworth was DUI.

 

It seems this penalty is harsher because Godell wants to quell any public perception....at Stallworths expense.

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I guess the only problem I have with the suspension is that he got much, much more than other offenders who driven drunk and/or were using Josh Gordon.
In the last decade has there been a player that has killed someone in a DUI or by using Josh Gordon. If Stallworth had been just convicted of DUI and was given a year suspension while other have received only a few game suspension or less, then you can draw a comparison. But since it was a manslaughter conviction, regardless if the victim did have culpability, you can't compare them.

 

Not to sound harsh, but the fact that someone died is solely due to the fact that the victim himself was breaking the law.
Apparently the jury and the law disagree with you. The victim did bear responsibility for doing something he shouldn't have been, but Stallworth also bears responsibility for driving drunk and hitting him. It doesn't matter what didn't happen or what could have happen. All that matters is what did happen and the circumstances of that event.
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I guess the only problem I have with the suspension is that he got much, much more than other offenders who driven drunk and/or were using Josh Gordon.

 

Not to sound harsh, but the fact that someone died is solely due to the fact that the victim himself was breaking the law. There is 100% no question that the reason there was a death was because the guy was breaking the law by jaywalking. Had he not also been breaking the law, there would have been no accident, and thus we likely never would have known Stallworth was DUI.

 

It seems this penalty is harsher because Godell wants to quell any public perception....at Stallworths expense.

 

But, Leonard Little getting 8 games for smashing into a lady and killing her while drunk was a joke. If Goodell was the commish then, I would guess the suspension would be at least 2 years, hopefully more. Goodell can't go back and correct that, but he's saying things will be different going forward. He does not agree that Stallworth had zero culpability here, nor do I.

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I'm going to try to draw a parallel that I heard discussed on numerous occasions that I thought made perfect sense:

 

You live on 3+ acres of fenced land. You have a target range in your backyard to practice shooting your shotgun. Normally, it i as safe a place to shoot as could be imagined. On this particular evening, you have a few beers, and head outside to shoot. During your session, a person darts in from the right towards your line of fire. Though you try to recoil/re-direct your angle, but you inadvertantly killl shoot the trespasser.

 

Now, the victim in this scenario was breaking the law just as the Stallworth victim was: on foot in an area that was off-limits. Both Stallworth and the shooter had no expectation there would be a person that could be in their line of fire/sight. Both had been drinking and using an instrument that is prohibited when even moderately inebriated.

 

Should the shooter be punished?

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I'm going to try to draw a parallel that I heard discussed on numerous occasions that I thought made perfect sense:

 

You live on 3+ acres of fenced land. You have a target range in your backyard to practice shooting your shotgun. Normally, it i as safe a place to shoot as could be imagined. On this particular evening, you have a few beers, and head outside to shoot. During your session, a person darts in from the right towards your line of fire. Though you try to recoil/re-direct your angle, but you inadvertantly killl shoot the trespasser.

 

Now, the victim in this scenario was breaking the law just as the Stallworth victim was: on foot in an area that was off-limits. Both Stallworth and the shooter had no expectation there would be a person that could be in their line of fire/sight. Both had been drinking and using an instrument that is prohibited when even moderately inebriated.

 

Should the shooter be punished?

 

How is doing something on your private property comparable to doing something in public? It's not illegal to be drunk at home. It is illegal to be drunk while driving a car on a public street. If Stallworth was drunk and ran the guy over in his back yard this comparison might make sense, other than that it's apples and oranges. This comparison is ridiculous.

Edited by Hugh 0ne
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I guess the only problem I have with the suspension is that he got much, much more than other offenders who driven drunk and/or were using Josh Gordon.

 

Not to sound harsh, but the fact that someone died is solely due to the fact that the victim himself was breaking the law. There is 100% no question that the reason there was a death was because the guy was breaking the law by jaywalking. Had he not also been breaking the law, there would have been no accident, and thus we likely never would have known Stallworth was DUI.

 

It seems this penalty is harsher because Godell wants to quell any public perception....at Stallworths expense.

 

And had Stallworth's BAC been zero, there would have been no charges and no issues with the NFL. When your BAC is more than twice the legal limit any incedent is YOUR FAULT, no questions asked. The man was crossing to catch a bus and ESPN was reporting that he was crossing at a light, but again none of that matters. If his BAC was zero, not only may that guy still be alive, but even if it were unavoidable, Stallwort would not have been charged or disciplined.

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How is doing something on your private property comparable to doing something in public? It's not illegal to be drunk at home. It is illegal to be drunk while driving a car on a public street. If Stallworth was drunk and ran the guy over in his back yard this comparison might make sense, other than that it's apples and oranges. This comparison is ridiculous.

 

I would think that in most states (it is in PA), its illegal to be drunk while using a firearm, so that where the offense has parallel....both offenders are committing an act while inebriated, and both were unfortunate enough to have someone who was also committing an offense prompt an action that caused their death.

 

Of course the parrallel isn't exact....it wasn't meant to be...it was meant to be similar. They were dicussing this parallel on 950ESPN radio a few weeks back...no one thought it was ridiculous. :wacko:

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I'm going to try to draw a parallel that I heard discussed on numerous occasions that I thought made perfect sense:

 

You live on 3+ acres of fenced land. You have a target range in your backyard to practice shooting your shotgun. Normally, it i as safe a place to shoot as could be imagined. On this particular evening, you have a few beers, and head outside to shoot. During your session, a person darts in from the right towards your line of fire. Though you try to recoil/re-direct your angle, but you inadvertantly killl shoot the trespasser.

 

Now, the victim in this scenario was breaking the law just as the Stallworth victim was: on foot in an area that was off-limits. Both Stallworth and the shooter had no expectation there would be a person that could be in their line of fire/sight. Both had been drinking and using an instrument that is prohibited when even moderately inebriated.

 

Should the shooter be punished?

 

If the state can prove the shooter's intoxication contributed to the trespasser's death, yes. Stallworth had the chance to go to trial and possibly beat the manslaughter charge; instead he pleaded guilty and took the slap on the wrist. That means he accepts accountability.

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I would think that in most states (it is in PA), its illegal to be drunk while using a firearm, so that where the offense has parallel....both offenders are committing an act while inebriated, and both were unfortunate enough to have someone who was also committing an offense prompt an action that caused their death.

 

Of course the parrallel isn't exact....it wasn't meant to be...it was meant to be similar. They were dicussing this parallel on 950ESPN radio a few weeks back...no one thought it was ridiculous. :wacko:

 

The reason it's illegal to use firearms when you're drunk is that sometimes people do stupid stuff (like trespass) and they don't deserve to die because of it. Drunk and shooting? GUILTY, regardless of the tresspassing.

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And had Stallworth's BAC been zero, there would have been no charges and no issues with the NFL. When your BAC is more than twice the legal limit any incedent is YOUR FAULT, no questions asked. The man was crossing to catch a bus and ESPN was reporting that he was crossing at a light, but again none of that matters. If his BAC was zero, not only may that guy still be alive, but even if it were unavoidable, Stallwort would not have been charged or disciplined.

 

geez, man, you have missed a bunch.

 

The man was not crossing at a light....he was jaywalking accross a median-divided 45 mph highway at dawn. If you were travelling on a higher-speed freeway, and a man darted out from the right into your path, would you be shocked?

 

It was the compelling reason the DA opted not to go to trial, but to offer a plea. It was the reason he was sentenced to 28 days, rather than 15 years. It was the reason the family settled out of court, rather than take stallworth to Civil Court.

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geez, man, you have missed a bunch.

 

The man was not crossing at a light....he was jaywalking accross a median-divided 45 mph highway at dawn. If you were travelling on a higher-speed freeway, and a man darted out from the right into your path, would you be shocked?

 

It was the compelling reason the DA opted not to go to trial, but to offer a plea. It was the reason he was sentenced to 28 days, rather than 15 years. It was the reason the family settled out of court, rather than take stallworth to Civil Court.

 

And Stallworth and his lawyers made the strategic decisions to cop a plea and pay the settlement, to expedite his return to football. In doing so, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which Goodell feels warrants a 1-year suspension. Is Goodell supposed to assume the role of judge and jury himself and determine Stallworth was not at fault? He has a player who pleaded guilty to manslaughter for crissakes, he was lenient if you ask me. Most of us wouldn't be so lucky as to have a job to go back to after a year.

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geez, man, you have missed a bunch.

 

The man was not crossing at a light....he was jaywalking accross a median-divided 45 mph highway at dawn. If you were travelling on a higher-speed freeway, and a man darted out from the right into your path, would you be shocked?

 

It was the compelling reason the DA opted not to go to trial, but to offer a plea. It was the reason he was sentenced to 28 days, rather than 15 years. It was the reason the family settled out of court, rather than take stallworth to Civil Court.

 

ESPN report TODAY that the incedent happened near a stoplight, and that the deceased was crossing in a hurry to catch a bus. The main thing here is that there is absolutely no way in hell that you or anyone else can say that if Stallworth were sober, that guy would have still died. And even more importantly, in the eyes of the law, if you're twice the legal limit, YOU'RE GUILTY. That's why he pled guilty instead of going to trial. To his credit he manned up and owned it from the beginning.

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I would think that in most states (it is in PA), its illegal to be drunk while using a firearm, so that where the offense has parallel....both offenders are committing an act while inebriated, and both were unfortunate enough to have someone who was also committing an offense prompt an action that caused their death.

 

Of course the parrallel isn't exact....it wasn't meant to be...it was meant to be similar. They were dicussing this parallel on 950ESPN radio a few weeks back...no one thought it was ridiculous. :wacko:

 

Fair point, if it is illegal to be drunk while operating a firearm than Vick is responsible for shooting the guy. His altered state of mind may be responsible for what happened. If he were sober and this happened, blame the drunk intruder exclusively. If he's drunk when it happened, the intruder and the shooter share the blame.

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Fair point, if it is illegal to be drunk while operating a firearm than Vick is responsible for shooting the guy. His altered state of mind may be responsible for what happened. If he were sober and this happened, blame the drunk intruder exclusively. If he's drunk when it happened, the intruder and the shooter share the blame.

 

So it was Vick with the shotgun on fenced property? :wacko:

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How is doing something on your private property comparable to doing something in public? It's not illegal to be drunk at home. It is illegal to be drunk while driving a car on a public street. If Stallworth was drunk and ran the guy over in his back yard this comparison might make sense, other than that it's apples and oranges. This comparison is ridiculous.

 

Because operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and operating a firearm while intoxicated are both criminal offenses.

It is not illegal to be drunk in public, either. Otherwise, how would any bar that did not have a hotel above its roof be legal? There is public intoxication, but that is a minor misdemeanor at best, and usually is reserved for belligerent or disruptive pedestrians.

 

I personally think that if I had a shooting range on my property, and the situation happened, I would hope that there were "no trespassing" signs on my property. If I did, and I got convicted, I would think it extremely unfair. And that is the parallel here. Of course, I grew up on 5 acres where we DID shoot guns off our back porch, and there were surely a few beers here and there involved...

Edited by gandalas
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