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Report: Possible Plea Deal for Plax Still Requires Jail Time

The New York Times wrote a fantastic piece concerning a possible plea deal for Plaxico Burress:


A plea deal is being seriously considered in the gun possession case against Plaxico Burress, the New York Giants’ wide receiver, and it appears likely that any agreement would require him to serve at least some time behind bars, a law enforcement official said on Sunday.

The details had not been finalized, and it remained unclear whether an arrangement would be reached by Tuesday, when Mr. Burress is scheduled to appear in Manhattan Criminal Court.

Mr. Burress, 31, who caught the winning touchdown in the Giants’ Super Bowl victory in February 2008, turned himself in to the police on Dec. 1, nearly three days after he accidentally shot himself in the leg with an unlicensed handgun at a nightclub in Manhattan. Mr. Burress was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, which carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 ½ years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors commonly offer reduced charges in gun possession cases, taking into consideration things like a defendant’s criminal history, the reason for carrying the gun and the circumstances surrounding an arrest.

In Mr. Burress’s case, prosecutors may consider that he had been cooperative and that he did not appear to have a dubious motive in carrying the gun. The weapon was licensed in Florida, but the permit had expired when Mr. Burress was arrested. Even if the permit were still valid, he would not have been allowed to carry the weapon in New York because the permit was from out of state. Other mitigating factors might be that the gun appeared to go off by accident, and that Mr. Burress was the only person injured in the shooting, which occurred at the Latin Quarter nightclub.

Last year, 986 cases in New York involving the same charges as Mr. Burress faces were resolved, and 90 percent of them resulted in convictions for less serious crimes, half of them misdemeanors or violations, said John M. Caher, a spokesman for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

The reduced charges in such cases include crimes like third-degree gun possession or attempted possession. Convictions on those charges allow for sentences of two years or less.”

I would be surprised if Plax gets off scot-free. I’d also be surprised if Plax doesn’t get a suspension from the NFL after he serves jail time. Stay tuned.

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