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  1. #1
    RamFan_Til_I_Die's Avatar
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    Burress pleads guilty to weapons charge, agrees to two-year term

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Former New York Giant Plaxico Burress pleaded guilty Thursday to a weapons charge and agreed to a two-year prison term for accidentally shooting himself at a Manhattan nightclub.

    The ex-wide receiver pleaded guilty to one count of attempted criminal possession of a weapon, a lesser charge than he initially faced. Under a plea agreement, he agreed to a two-year prison sentence and two years of supervised release.

    Burress was indicted earlier this month on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment. He faced a minimum sentence of 3 1/2 years if convicted at a trial.

    The guilty plea ends months of haggling between Burress' attorney and the Manhattan district attorney's office. The case went to a grand jury earlier this month after negotiations broke down, apparently because District Attorney Robert Morgenthau was insisting that Burress serve at least two years in prison.

    Assistant District Attorney Mark Dwyer said it is standard policy to request a two-year sentence as part of a plea bargain on such serious charges. Sentencing was set for Sept. 22.

    In a Manhattan state Supreme Court room on Thursday, the soft-spoken Burress, wearing a dark blue suit, first entered a not-guilty plea to the initial charges against him. After attorneys on both sides conferred, Burress said, "Guilty" to the new attempted weapons possession charge.

    His attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said in court that the 31-year-old Burress was thinking of his family in taking the plea, although he questioned the recommended prison sentence.

    "This was not an intentional criminal act," Brafman said. "In my judgment, a two-year prison sentence is a very severe punishment."

    With time off for good behavior the sentence could be reduced to 20 months.

    The football star and former teammate Antonio Pierce were at the Latin Quarter nightclub in late November when a gun tucked into Burress' waistband slipped down his leg and fired, shooting him in the right thigh. The bullet narrowly missed a nightclub security guard who was standing inches away, prosecutors said, lodged in the floor and was recovered by a bartender.

    The gun was not licensed in New York or in New Jersey, where Burress lived, prosecutors said. His license to carry a concealed weapon in the state of Florida had expired in May 2008.

    Prosecutors said Pierce drove Burress to a hospital, then took the gun to his own home in New Jersey where it was later delivered to Burress' home.

    Pierce was not indicted. The grand jury also did not indict the nightclub security guard who carried the gun to Pierce's car or the hospital staff members who failed to notify police that Burress had been shot.

    Burress, who caught the winning touchdown for the Giants over the New England Patriots in the final minute of the 2008 Super Bowl, also could face disciplinary action by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

    The Giants released Burress in April and he has yet to sign with another team.


  2. #2
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Burress pleads guilty to weapons charge, agrees to two-year term

    Two years seems pretty severe, but then agian this guy put other peoples lives in danger by walking around with a loaded gun tucked in his pants, safety off. Careless, stupid and dangerous.

  3. #3
    RamJackson39's Avatar
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    Re: Burress pleads guilty to weapons charge, agrees to two-year term

    Dangerous mainly to himself. How do you shoot yourself in the leg and then spend two years getting to think about it? Thats slightly ridiculous and I think they were trying to make an example of Burress in this instance. I'm not saying that what he did wasnt stupid or anything like that, but the man shot himself in the leg. I could understand a year and perhaps two or three years of probation afterwards, but two years...thats a long time.

    His career is over. I believe he will be the 34 by the next time he can play an NFL game. Sad to see a talent like that wasted. It's a shame he could never get his head on straight
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  4. #4
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Burress pleads guilty to weapons charge, agrees to two-year term

    Quote Originally Posted by RamJackson39 View Post
    Dangerous mainly to himself. How do you shoot yourself in the leg and then spend two years getting to think about it? Thats slightly ridiculous and I think they were trying to make an example of Burress in this instance.
    Dangerous mainly to himself, but still a lethal danger to others around him and I'll bet that's why he got two years. I do agree that they were probably setting an example.

    The football star and former teammate Antonio Pierce were at the Latin Quarter nightclub in late November when a gun tucked into Burress' waistband slipped down his leg and fired, shooting him in the right thigh. The bullet narrowly missed a nightclub security guard who was standing inches away, prosecutors said, lodged in the floor and was recovered by a bartender.

  5. #5
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Burress pleads guilty to weapons charge, agrees to two-year term

    They were not setting an example. Burress got exactly what anyone else would have gotten in a plea deal, no more and no less. This is a MANDATORY 3 1/2 year jail sentance if convicted at trial. Based on the evidence, there was pretty close to a 100% chance that he would be convicted and as a result, he decided to plea bargain.

    The argument that he was a danger only to himself makes no sense. THe grand jury testimony and evidence made it clear that he missed hitting an innocent person by less than two inches. The danger was clear to all around him. The fact that he didnt hit anyone is why he didnt get longer in jail.

    If you want to make the point that a 3 1/2 year mandatory minimum sentance is too long that is a fair debate, but given the state of the law, the penalty was perfectly reasonable and there is no way he got treated better or worse than anyone else. The law is harsh for a reason. A carry permit in new york city is very very hard to get and its a real accident waiting to happen to not punish people with out of state gun permits (let alone those with expired out of state permits) to carry in new york city, where there are millions of innocent people on the streets.

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  6. #6
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    Re: Burress pleads guilty to weapons charge, agrees to two-year term

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    They were not setting an example. Burress got exactly what anyone else would have gotten in a plea deal, no more and no less. This is a MANDATORY 3 1/2 year jail sentance if convicted at trial. Based on the evidence, there was pretty close to a 100% chance that he would be convicted and as a result, he decided to plea bargain.

    The argument that he was a danger only to himself makes no sense. THe grand jury testimony and evidence made it clear that he missed hitting an innocent person by less than two inches. The danger was clear to all around him. The fact that he didnt hit anyone is why he didnt get longer in jail.

    If you want to make the point that a 3 1/2 year mandatory minimum sentance is too long that is a fair debate, but given the state of the law, the penalty was perfectly reasonable and there is no way he got treated better or worse than anyone else. The law is harsh for a reason. A carry permit in new york city is very very hard to get and its a real accident waiting to happen to not punish people with out of state gun permits (let alone those with expired out of state permits) to carry in new york city, where there are millions of innocent people on the streets.

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    It ultimately all depends what they are convicting him of here ...

    Prior to shooting himself in the leg, was there any reason to believe that Burress was not a responsible gun holder? He did have a permit in another state, correct?

    Given that Burress has celebrity status, no prior record that we know of, and with the aforementioned, is there any reason to believe that Burress would not have been able to obtain a gun permit in N.Y.? I don't believe there is. Can you provide evidence that Burress would not have been able to obtain a gun permit?

    With that being said, this wasn't some criminal or teenager brandishing an illegal weapon with the intent to harm. It was, at the time, a "responsible" individual carrying a weapon for which he had a permit in another state. Why he didn't obtain a N.Y. permit, who knows? Maybe he couldn't get one, just didn't want to get one, didn't realize he needed one ....

    Sentencing him to prison for two years for not having the permit is semi-ridiculous. His stupidity, on the other hand, should be punished ...

    Fact of the matter is, PERMIT OR NOT, this accident would have occured, given the situation ...
    Last edited by RamsInfiniti; -08-24-2009 at 01:57 PM.

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    Re: Burress pleads guilty to weapons charge, agrees to two-year term

    All this could have been avoided if he just put the safety on. I guess receivers never liked safeties anyways. Sorry for the bad joke.

    His teammate and fellow receiver Steve Smith was just attacked by gunpoint in the previous week so I don't blame him for carrying a gun that he did have a permit for in another state. I just blame him for carelessly not putting the safety on and thinking that the wasteband of his sweatpants was a good place to hold a gun. He did not have the intent to go out and shoot someone and did only harm himself so I think 2 years is way too much for this sort of crime. Especially in comparison to Dante Stallworth who only got a month in jail when he killed a guy.

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