I was avoiding this topic for sometime, since I didn’t feel it was really an Eagles’ dilemma. Thankfully, it’s not, though it very well could have been or could eventually be.
Fortunately for this franchise, former-Bird Donté Stallworth was traded to the Browns before his very public brush with the law erupted. And by brush I actually mean head-on collision, which tragically ended with the death of a 59-year-old pedestrian.
Stallworth was driving with a BAC 1.5 times the legal limit in Florida when he struck and killed a pedestrian. If convicted, Stallworth was facing up to 15 years in prison.
If that debacle wasn’t enough on the hands of the Browns and the NFL, the latest twist has thrown another wrench in the story.
After accepting full responsibility and entering a plea bargain, Stallworth reached an undisclosed settlement with the victim’s family and was sentenced to 30 days imprisonment.
This is where the media erupted.
Undeniably, a month-long jail sentence for manslaughter seems light. Tens of anti drunk driving advocates were plastered on the news stations screaming injustice over the case’s outcome. A member for moms against drunk driving pulled out the classic “what will my kid think” card.
I get it. I can’t argue with the commonly held and most likely scientifically backed popular belief that kids are easily impressed by every aspect of celebrities public lives. However, I like to think, although on a relative scale (he is a millionaire), Stallworth’s life is sufficiently ruined by this incident. I’m not making excuses for his decision or even suggesting we “go easy” on him, I’m just asking that a public outcry for more severe punishment really take a good look at what they would be getting out of it.
Most mass media reports go on to say, if Stallworth were not as financially successful he would never have gotten such an easy sentence.
Perhaps, but what is really being said here? It sounds like rhetoric that people should not be able to “buy” their freedom. Unfortunately, we put a price on criminals freedoms everyday. Juries award thousands upon millions of dollars in restitution verdicts, always with the addendum that the victim will still never be whole again.
So, if in this case, the victim’s family and Stallworth reached a mutually agreed upon settlement, who are we to cry injustice?