New 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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