AN ANIMAL’S LIFE SEEMS TO BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN A HUMAN’S LIFE…
Stallworth signed a seven-year, $35 million contract with the Cleveland Browns before last season, but was injured much of the year, so in essence, they paid him $5 million for sitting on the sidelines. On March 13, 2009, Stallworth received a $4.75 million roster bonus. If you think that’s a deal of a lifetime, think again. Stallworth then went out to celebrate, drinking all night at a club, got behind the wheel of his Bentley instead of calling a cab or getting someone to drive him home, and killed a pedestrian, Mario Reyes. Here’s where the deal of a lifetime comes in…he received just 30 days from the state of Florida despite killing a pedestrian in a DUI incident, and if you think that was a slap in the face, read on…Stallworth faced 15 years in prison. According to the plea agreement, Stallworth needs to serve only 24 days of his 30-day sentence. Murphy agreed to give Stallworth "credit" for the one day he already served, April 2, which was the day of his arrest and booking. In addition, Stallworth received an additional "five days of credit" because of a Florida state statute stating anyone who is sentenced to 30 days (besides civil, contempt, drug treatment and house arrest cases) automatically gets five days’ credit time served for every 30 days. So, you don’t get 5 days of credit for contempt or civil cases, but in this case, Stallworth gets "five days of credit" because he drank all night, got behind the wheel of his pricey black Bentley, and killed 59-year old Mario Reyes who was on his way home from work at 7 in the morning. Where the heck is the justice for the victim? After his release from jail, Stallworth must also serve two years of house arrest and spend eight years of probation. Big deal! He can then be allowed to resume his football career. What about poor Reyes who not only cannot resume his construction career, but he won’t be able to resume his 20-year marriage to his wife or resume fathering his 15-year old daughter anymore! This is plain dispicable!
Recent examples of athletes who have been sentenced to jail time while still active in their playing careers:
Tank Johnson (NFL), December 2006
• Lineman was arrested at his home in suburban Chicago and charged with six counts of possessing an unlicensed gun. Johnson was on probation for a previous weapons charge. Sentenced to house arrest, 4 months in jail for probation violation, fined $2,500, suspended one game by the NFL. Was later suspended 8 games by the NFL for additional legal trouble and released by the Bears.
Ugueth Urbina (MLB), November 2005
• Relief pitcher was arrested by Venezuelan authorities on a charge of attempted murder. Allegedly attacked five farm workers on his property and tried to injure them both with a machete and by attempting to pour gasoline on them. Was convicted in March 2007 of attempted murder and other charges. Sentenced to 14 years in prison, ending his professional baseball career.
Jamal Lewis (NFL), February 2004
• Running back was indicted on federal drug charges involving a drug deal in summer 2000. Was charged with conspiring to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute and using a cell phone in the commission of the crime. Pleaded guilty to using a cell phone to set up a drug deal. Spent 4 months in prison, suspended 2 games by the NFL.
• Drank and drove his SUV into Susan Gutweiler’s car. A wife and mother, she died the next day. The Rams put Little on paid leave. He pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and served 90 days in jail, four years’ probation and 1,000 hours of community service. Then NFL stated that Little could play in training camp and preseason games but was banned without pay for the first eight regular-season games. That half-season suspension cost him roughly $125,000.
Charles Smith (NBA), March 1992
• Celtics guard was convicted of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a crime in the hit-and-run deaths of two Boston University students. Sentenced to 4½ years in prison, he was acquitted of the more serious charge of manslaughter. Smith returned to the NBA for the 1995-96 season and played 8 games with the Wolves.
Craig MacTavish (NHL), May 1984
• Was convicted of vehicular homicide while a member of the Bruins. While drunk, he rear-ended a car, causing it to skid into a parking lot, where it hit two more cars and overturned. The other driver died days later. Served one year in prison. MacTavish played 14 NHL seasons following his year in prison and has coached the Oilers since the beginning of the 2000-01 season.