Some Justice is More Equal Than Others

In the courtroom where a judge was considering changes to Donte Stallworth’s house arrest, you’d have thought The Media was the defendant.

The judge derided the press for the way some reported Stallworth’s request to leave house arrest for daily workouts with his trainer.  The judge poked fun at the media scrutiny (ie: public scrutiny) of a sports-celeb convicted of DUI manslaughter, even tossing out the address of his training facility in Weston in case anyone wanted to go watch.

You could tell the judge is thoroughly over the Donte Stallworth case.  Plea offered, plea taken, and so what’s the big deal in letting the suspended NFL player leave house arrest every day for the gym, so he can be in shape if the League decides he can still play?

“What’s the difference in this?” His Honor asked.  “The perception that someone is going to say he’s getting different treatment?”

Yes, Judge Murphy, Donte Stallworth did get different treatment. 

Legally, the facts of the case led to the plea deal: the actions of victim Mario Reyes may have contributed to his own death, as he darted across the causeway, against the light.   Would Stallworth have been able to avoid hitting Reyes if he hadn’t been driving drunk?   Who can know.  Would Reyes’ family have agreed to a downgraded DUI manslaughter sentence if Stallworth hadn’t agreed to pay them millions?   Hmmm.   But he did, and they did, and the legal case is over.

But the court of public opinion has a different verdict.  It’s certainly not a legal one, but it is no less valid.

Celebrity, notoriety and money contributed to the outcome of this case as much as alcohol and car keys.

Is Donte Stallworth a danger to society?  No, but he was that morning.   By all accounts, he is a generally good guy who made some really bad decisions and is now paying the price.  But would Regular Joe have paid the same price for driving very drunk in an accident that killed a man?

No.  Hell no.

Surprise, even some media treat him differently.

The big one-on-one “exclusive” first interview (for which an ESPN reporter was hand-picked by Team Stallworth) was no more than well-lighted,  highly stylized music-videoesque production featuring  Stallworth telling a well-rehearsed account of what he did, he saw, he thought that morning in March.  The toughest question posed to him was something like “What do you say to the people who think you got off easy?”  

The defense rests.

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One Response

  1. The 1 year suspension annoucned today was the correct suspension by goodell and I commend him. Hes done pretty well with Vick and stallworth this offseason.

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