Osi Umenyiora's rich and famous because of his ability to rush the quarterback, and it seems that his fame has opened some doors into the legal community. Umenyiora promised that Plaxico Burress would get nothing more than a slap on the wrist for his unfortunate decision to tuck a gun into the waistband of his sweatpants.
"I know people in high places," Umenyiora said. "I'm going to get him off myself."
No, Umenyiora isn't planning any elaborate courtroom stunts, but he said he has spoken to people in law enforcement who tell him that a first-time offender in this kind of case gets a maximum of five years probation. Most people who get charged with two felony weapons counts weren't the target of tough talk from the Mayor of New York City, though. Burress' case is so high-profile and so linked to Mayor Bloomberg's promise to control unlicensed guns that it won't be handled exactly the same way.
"He didn’t hurt anyone but himself," Jacobs said. "We’ve got murderers and killers and rapists and everything else that’s running around the streets now. But you know, it is a messed up world and a messed up country and you never know what they’ll do. ... There are a lot more people on the streets that authorities should try and get. Certainly not someone like him that isn’t a criminal, who just for one night got paranoid for some reason, whatever that reason was, and made a mistake."
The jails of New York and the rest of the country are littered with people who weren't criminals but made mistakes that landed them in prison. Some of them did things much worse than Burress, some of them didn't but there isn't a lot of moral relativity when it comes to the specific law broken by a specific person. That relativity can come into play in sentencing, though.
Without much gray area in the charges, Burress shot himself with his own unlicensed gun, a plea bargain on a lesser charge would be the quickest way to end the legal proceedings. That's probably the Giants' hope, and Burress', but the political nature of the case may make such a deal more difficult to achieve.