Yesterday Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth received a 30 day jail sentence for killing a pedestrian while driving drunk. That’s right: 30 days!
On March 14th of this year, Stallworth was driving his Bentley when he struck and killed Mario Reyes, a 59 year old construction worker, after a night of drinking at a bar in Miami Beach. His blood alcohol level was .126, considerably above Forida’s .08 limit.
Stallworth was facing 15 years imprisonment for a DUI manslaughter conviction, but made a plea deal which netted him the 30 day jail sentence, plus 2 years house arrest, 8 years probation, undergo mandatory drug and alcohol testing, a lifetime driver’s license suspension and must perform 1,000 hours of community service. It also helped that he had reached a financial settlement with Reyes’s family. Although Stallworth will most likely face a suspension from the NFL for a few games this year, the house arrest provisions will allow him to continue playing football.
I couldn’t help making a comparison to the punishment Michael Vick, another football player, received for financing a dog fighting operation… where the dogs that lost were killed and Vick apparently took part in some of these killings. Vick plead guilty and was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison, released after serving 19 months, but won’t be released from federal custody until July 20th. Until then he has to wear an electronic monitor, serve 2 months house arrest and is on probation for 3 years. Vick had also received a 3 year suspended sentence for pleading guilty to state dogfighting charges. His 10 year – $130 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons has been voided, he is still facing suspension from the NFL and has filed for bankruptcy.
There is something about the Stallworth sentence that just doesn’t sit right with me. In fact, I find it reprehensible that he will only serve 30 days in jail for killing another human being… while Vick received close to 2 years for killing dogs. I have no problem with the Vick sentence and would have even supported more jail time. However as I stated in this post when Vick was released from prison in May, “in our society, the way people love their pets, especially white people, it would have been better for him if he was killing people and eating them like a Jeffrey Dahmer”. Stallworth’s sentence in comparison to Vick’s proved my point. Plus I guess with a name like “Mario Reyes”, it’s safe to conclude that Stallworth didn’t kill a white preppy looking coed with blond hair and blue eyes, so the administration of justice has been duly served.