Giant Killer: Plaxico Burress Facing Jail Time Over Gun Wound

plax0135px-new_york_giants_helmet_rightfaceNew York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress is looking at a very serious prosecution after shooting himself in the leg with his own gun while at a club in New York. In the meantime, a hospital worker New York Presbyterian Hospital who appears to have helped Burress by not reporting the gunshot has been fired.

A hospital is required to report any gunshot wound to the police. Burress’ wounds, however, was listed as a non-gunshot injury by the worker. Why he would take such a risk will likely lead to further investigation on whether he cut Burress a break, was simply negligent, or received some compensation for not reporting the injury.

In the meantime, Burress is facing one of the worst types of crimes to defend. These violations are treated as effectively strict liability offenses and can result in up to 15 yeas imprisonment. A sentence of 3 1/2 years for illegally carrying a loaded handgun is treated as the minimum in such offenses.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pushing for a hard sentence, pointing out that the trial should not be a tough evidentiary battle: “It’s pretty hard to argue the guy didn’t have a gun and it wasn’t loaded. You’ve got bullet holes in and out to show that it was there.”

It appears that Burress simply stuck a loaded gun in sweat pants — causing the gun inevitable to gun inside his pants where it discharged. If you are going to pack and dance, you would at least think you would wear a belt. This fashion no-no is now a legal disaster for Burress, who may have to become the national spokesman for the American Belt Association (ABA) (not to be confused with those other beneficiaries in the American Bar Association).

I do not see any real good options here unless there is a plausible claim that it was someone else’s gun — a dubious defense given the lack of a police report. This one would be ripe for a plea, but he is not likely to get much of a deal given the standard minimum sentencing. There can be room for negotiations on jail time versus probation etc. However, Burress’ desire to dance while armed will likely cost him millions — and a promising football career. The team has now formally suspended him. (I am a Bears fan, so I will leave it to Giants fans to calculate the damage to the team).

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9 thoughts on “Giant Killer: Plaxico Burress Facing Jail Time Over Gun Wound”

  1. How little is hubris used today to describe our politicians, athletes, Corporate Leaders and celebrities. The ancient Greeks knew 2,500 years ago that it is one of the hallmarks of human error. The inevitable retribution is built into the process, whether it be human nature or heavenly intervention. Being hoisted on one’s own petard is the occupational habit of those so full of their own sense of glory and immunity.

  2. mespo,

    The Rev. Horton Heat teaches us that the wages of sin are a bad reputation and too many friends. Not that that invalidates anything you said.

    And Plax needs the book thrown at him as FFLEO pointed out. Send a message. Endangering one’s self is one thing, but the public is another as is the possible issue of obstruction in the events following.

    If any representatives of Mr. Burress are reading this, tell him I said, “Nice shootin’, Tex!” Be thankful you missed an artery. Dead is much worse than prison or a trashed NFL career.

  3. These are the cases 2nd Amendment proponents such as I am want to see prosecuted fully under the law. Many gun owners are conscientious, responsible, and ‘to-a-tee’ law-abiding citizens and we detest such gun violations because they invariably result in more reactionary and needless gun control laws.

    I am often astounded when the legal profession does not enforce the gun laws on the books, especially the clearly unequivocal violations such as this. If Burress receives full prosecution, conviction, and then sentencing to the maximum jail time, an effective deterrent is established for others who would consider putting the public at risk from their irresponsibly dangerous actions.

  4. sherry:

    After last week, I think the Patriots in general, and Matt Casell in particular, are glad the Steelers aren’t there anymore. Go Steelers! For my bona fides I say “Dobre Shunka.”

  5. Plaxico is the latest in the line of athletes so used to special treatment by sports aficionados that they lose track of the understanding that they are beyond the rules. with athletic football/basketball stars this begins in high School, continues through college and into the pros. Everywhere, as long as they maintain they’re stardom, rules are bent in their favor. They come to rightly believe that they are entitled.

    While Burress has carried his prima donna status to excess, the system bears as much fault as do his character flaws. What many are not prepared for is how quickly the system disposes of them, when they are no longer useful. I love being a sports watcher, believe that athletic skills should be financially rewarded given the uniqueness of that ability and yet decry the underlying hypocrisy of the whole system.

    When CEO’s constantly failing upward make hundreds of million$ for their mediocrity, millions for an athlete, usually representing in specific skills the top hundredth of a percent is justified. What the successful stars often don’t realize is that in the class system they are merely amusements, to be discarded and decried when they become annoying or a good source for ridicule.

  6. If the wages of sin are death, what are the wages of two counts of stupidity? Seven years I guess–and loss of millions.

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