In the DUI manslaughter case of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth, some believe there was more than one crime involved. The first was when Stallworth hit a construction crane worker who was walking to the bus stop to go home from work while driving at one and a half times the legal blood-alcohol level.
Some believe a second crime was committed by the judicial system when Stallworth essentially received a slap on the wrist for the death of Mario Reyes. He was sentenced to 30-days in prison, two years of house arrest, and eight years of probation.
Nicole Brochu, writer for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, called the sentence “a joke…not just on the family of the poor man killed by Stallworth's recklessness, it's on all of us.”
Stallworth’s light sentence seems even more so considering Michael Vick just recently completed a nearly two year sentence for dog fighting. Brochu asks, “Are we saying an animal’s life is worth more than a 59-year-old man’s?”
One can only wonder if things would be different if the tables were turned. If it had been Stallworth who had been killed and Reyes who had been driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.126, would Reyes have gotten merely 30 days in jail?Since the sentencing, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has placed Stallworth on unpaid, indefinite suspension. Experts believe the suspension could last for a year or more.