Pity Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth. He just lost his driving privileges for the rest of his life.
Do you know how hard it is to find a decent chauffeur nowadays?
In what goes down as the most obscene criminal sentence in recent memory, Stallworth must spend 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to a DUI manslaughter from March.
One lousy month.
I’m still trying to get my head around it. Donte Stallworth actually killed a man – 59-year-old Mario Reyes – because he was drinking and driving one night in Miami, and he gets a single month in jail.
This is beyond outrage. It’s insane.
I’ve already heard the apologists say what Stallworth did was an accident—I’m looking at you Colin Cowherd of ESPN Radio. “It’s not like Stallworth purposely targeted this man,” Cowherd says. “It wasn’t intentional.”
Excuse me. This wasn’t an accident. An accident is unforeseen. Stallworth made the decision to drink. He made the decision to get behind the wheel of his Bentley with a .126 blood alcohol level and break the law (Florida limit is .08). And he made the decision to run a red light and break the law again, only to plow into a pedestrian walking to a bus stop so he could work his overnight shift as a crane operator.
Donte Stallworth is responsible for a man’s death.
Can you imagine how painful all this must be for the Reyes family? The killing was horrible enough. But now the man who selfishly robbed your family member’s life is told: Hey, it’s no big deal.
Seriously, how much time would Stallworth have received if he had been caught drinking and driving and nobody died? 15 days?
The Miami Herald says Stallworth will also do 1,000 hours of community service and two years under house arrest. If the guy is driving a Bentley, I’m guessing the Stallworth estate ain’t exactly San Quentin.
But really, is the light sentence Stallworth’s fault? Hell, he just accepted the deal that was offered. We should investigate the brain dead attorney who offered this outrageous plea bargain in the first place. Who wouldn’t accept 30 days when facing 4-to-15 years in prison?
Did Stallworth get off easy because he’s wealthy? An athlete? Perhaps.
But until we get serious about punishing drinking and driving what incentive is there to stop? Dodger fans who consume 16-ounce beers every inning? Have a pleasant drive home. The businesswoman who hits happy hour with her friends after work? No need to call a cab.
What’s the worst that could happen? Just ask Donte Stallworth.