Friday, March 16, 2007

The Armory's Getting Locked Up For a Few Months.

So sayeth a Chicago judge, who sentenced Bears DL Tank Johnson to four months in jail for violating his 2005 probation last year when police found six unregistered firearms in his home.

Johnson's lawyers said they had not yet decided whether to appeal the ruling, but suggested the football player's celebrity influenced the sentence.

"This sentence was unnecessarily harsh," defense attorney Lorna Propes said. "It's pretty unheard of for these circumstances."

The man has been found with handguns illegally twice -- to be fair, they are both misdemeanor charges, but anyone not able to afford the legal defense Johnson can and without his celebrity would be getting at least that for ANY probation violation. Like most, Johnson said he wasn't a man who belonged in jail, and maybe he doesn't, but the judge disagreed.

"Just because he's a professional football player and plays for the Chicago Bears, doesn't put him above the law," [prosecutor] Rick Cenar said.

Most athletes (or anyone else in the elite of society) would do well to remember that.

Update: Ajax provides a useful reminder of the proper cynicism in comments.


The Almighty Ajax said...

Rick Cenar, with the subtext stated as text: "Famous or not, he's still black, and when a black man violates his probation you put him in jail."

Call me cynical, but I don't think Robbie Gould would be doing time in the same situation.

I'm not saying Tank shouldn't be punished; I'm saying there are more useful, appropriate and socially responsible ways to do that than throw him in jail. It's not like anybody was hurt or even inconvenienced by his offense.

Signal to Noise said...

Yeah, there's enough cynicism on that one to go around.