In Wednesday's New York Post, Andrea Peyser reports that there are two schools of thought in the Manhattan district attorney's office when it comes to dealing with Plaxico Burress. There are those that want to see him prosecuted with the same zeal as non-football playing members of society. There are others, though, who think that circumstances merit a more lenient stance with little to no jail time.
Their reasoning for favoring this course of action has little to do with the law and everything to do with how Burress earns his living.
"He may be stupid, and he used bad judgment, but the only one he hurt was himself," said one source. "A lot of people think there should be a reasonable way to resolve this matter that doesn't end his career. If he loses more than one season, his career could be over for good."
There's a lot of ridiculousness in that statement. He may have only hurt himself, but he brought a gun to a nightclub. That's an act that can lead to a lot of people getting hurt, and then he compounded his initial error by trying to cover it up. If the city is serious about combating the toll guns take on the city, it has to actually take guns in the city with a degree of seriousness.
More ridiculous, though, is the notion that it is up to the DA's office to make sure that an alleged criminal's career is unaffected by prosecution. Does someone in the DA's office have Burress on their fantasy football team?
Allowing a football player to continue playing football is not the job of the prosecution, it is up to Burress and his lawyers to find a way to make that happen. By all accounts, Burress has been unwilling to make a plea deal because he's unwilling to accept a day in prison as part of the deal. If the DA wants him to make a deal, they should impanel a grand jury and start playing hardball.
Whether or not Burress should have the full weight of the law thrown at him is a question worthy of discussion. Eight months is more than enough time to have that discussion, though, and come up with an answer.
Instead of doing anything, though, the DA just sits back and keeps agreeing to continuances which guarantees Burress a shot at playing in 2009. Roger Goodell has made strong hints that he won't suspend Burress until after his case is dealt with. If there's no trial or plea in 2009, then, there's not going to be a suspension.
It's all enough to make you say justice isn't being done. So long as you aren't Plaxico Burress, that is.