The National Felon League: Week 2 Trash Talk

Welp. Not a particularly banner week for the National Football League. In fact, I am not sure I have ever seen a league, any league, take quite the self inflicted beating that Goodell and the NFL have this week.

The Ray Rice affair was already quite the ugly black eye before all hell broke loose, and appropriately so, with the release of the TMZ tape clip from inside the elevator at the Revel Casino in New Jersey. Marcy already covered the tape and some of its implications. I don’t have a ton to add here, but I do have a couple of things to say. First, the NFL and Goodell are just flat lying through their teeth about the video. I have dealt with pro security offices before, including one in the NFL. They are almost always run by either ex-FBI or ex-state police. Experienced people that know what they are doing and are very connected to police and other local authorities (say, for instance prosecutors). If the Ravens and NFL security wanted the video, they would have the video, whether from the Atlantic City Police or from the Revel Casino itself. The thought they couldn’t get it is absurd. And that is irrespective of the law enforcement member that says he gave it to the NFL.

Secondly, a lot of people are shocked and outraged that Rice was give a diversion plea. Frankly, I am not all that shocked; diversion is not at all uncommon where there are no serious physical injuries, no prior convictions and the victim uncooperative as to prosecution and requests that diversion be given. That is certainly the case here, and from talking to a couple of experienced attorneys in New Jersey, it is not at all unheard of there. Here is the actual prosecutor’s reasoning for doing so. Here is a TMZ report citing anonymous junior prosecutors in the Atlantic County DA’s office saying it is very rare and expressing outrage. Frankly, in Arizona, I think the Rice case would be filed as a misdemeanor to start with and while diversion would be discretionary, it would not be uncommon. Time, and their own conduct, will tell if diversion was the right decision and path in the case of the Rices.

Lastly, I cannot shake the thought that Rice has some leverage against the NFL, and maybe the Ravens. While there is no specific double jeopardy against successive punishment per se for the NFL, Article 46, §4 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement states:

The Commissioner and a Club will not both discipline a player for the same act or conduct. The Commissioner’s disciplinary action will preclude or supersede disciplinary action by any Club for the same act or conduct.

It is not hard to see how Rice could make some hay with this. He is staying very quiet regarding legal action, and that is probably very smart while the NFL is self destructing, but I bet it is coming, and he may well have a pretty strong argument. Goodell clearly senses this coming and has issued some classic Goodell bullshit trying to head it off. Problem is there are already several witnesses who claim Rice did tell the whole story. Who do you root for here, Rice or Goodell? Yeesh, it is all just pathetic.

Then there is the black eye of the Carolina Panthers and Greg Hardy, who, after being convicted of domestic violence apparently every bit as bad as that of Rice, will be suiting up and playing this weekend. Granted, Hardy has appealed the case, which appears to entail a trial de novo, but still, rather uncomfortable in light of Rice.

And then, boom! Adrian Peterson is indicted for reckless or negligent injury to a child. He claims he was just acting as a parent and disciplining his child. But the kid was only four years old, and the pictures of the injuries are pretty damning. Interestingly, the first time the Montgomery County prosecutor submitted the case to a grand jury, they no billed it…that is they refused to return charges. So the prosecutor shopped it to a second grand jury, who did. I am rather uncomfortable with that, but, while some jurisdictions have rules limiting such practice, it does not appear to be forbidden in Texas. The clincher to it all is that Peterson has had Rusty Hardin representing him for months. Never count Rusty out, but man the details are really troubling. Unlike the Panthers and Greg Hardy, the Vikings immediately deactivated Peterson, and he will not play against the Patriots in Minnesota’s home opener.

There is a lot more that could be said about all the criminal and league issues in the NFL, and we will undoubtedly doing so for some time to come. For now, let us take a quick look at the actual games. Before Adrian Peterson was bounced, I was thinking the Vikings and Pats would be a great game and the Vikings had a very good chance to send Bill Bel and the Pats off to an 0-2 start. They still may, but it just got a lot tougher. The Falcons at Bengals could be pretty interesting, as could Lions at Panthers. Will also be interesting to see if Buffalo can put together another full game; if so, they can beat Miami.

Not a lot of sizzle in the college schedule this week. The best bet may be Georgia at South Carolina. The Gamecocks got their ass handed to them by Kenny Football and Texas A+M last time out. And Georgia is good and has a all world running back, Todd Gurley. Keep your eye on this kid, he is great. Maybe UCLA at Texas could be good, be nice to see the Longwhorens get whipped again, and UCLA is very good. Other than that, a pretty meh schedule.

Hats off to the Phoenix Mercury who won another WNBA Championship last night, sweeping the Chicago Sky. And they did it without Brittney Griner who sat out the game with a retina issue. Diana Taurasi owned the fourth quarter and won the game.

Well, there you have it. Sad part is Law and Order: NFL is actually more interesting than the games this week. Roger Goodell has a jailbreak on his hands. Bleech.

66 replies
  1. Bitter Angry Drunk says:

    Actually Hardin also represented Peterson a year or so ago when he was arrested in a bar (in Houston, I believe). In that case it seemed that the cops overreacted/were grandstanding, and Peterson was ultimately exonerated. Hardin was on the radio talking about it to a Twin Cities sports station. That fact that he’s only issued a statement about this episode is probably telling.

    You bring up some interesting points about the Rice situation, but if that’s the standard legal system response to knocking out your fiancee, whether or not it’s on video, it seems pretty meh to me.

    Anyway, here’s my favorite song called jailbreak:

    • bmaz says:

      I don’t know that it is standard at all. It is certainly discretionary with the prosecutor, and it varies between jurisdictions, courts and prosecuting agencies. I guess what I am saying is that, in my experience, it is not nearly as unique and outrageous as many seem to think. Some sources say it really is exceedingly rare in NJ, but NJ attorneys I have talked to have said it is not unheard of if certain things line up – like the factors I mentioned in the post. I think there are times it can absolutely be the right path. It depends on the likelihood of real reform. Some people likely feel that there is no circumstance in which it could be appropriate for Rice (I know some of those people), but i disagree, it could be appropriate. We shall see. One thing is for sure, it is done now, so it is up to the Rices to prove it not to be a bad call.

    • bmaz says:

      And here is a report in the NT Times that supports the thought that it is not even that rare in New Jersey:

      Even in New Jersey, one of the states with the most stringent laws and court rules, offenders often walk away with little more than court-ordered counseling in the small percentage of cases that are elevated to involve felony charges, as Rice’s case was.

      “For a case like this to end this way is not uncommon,” said Jane Shivas, executive director of the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women. “But it certainly is unfortunate.”

      Unlike Goodell, however, McClain was bound by legal precedent and rules in the New Jersey courts that steer domestic violence cases toward counseling programs instead of incarceration, particularly in cases like Rice’s, in which the victim preferred to reconcile rather than press charges. McClain’s office has defended his decision, and many in the New Jersey legal community agree that the outcome of the Rice case was in line with other New Jersey cases that had similar circumstances.

  2. bloopie2 says:

    I can’t find the article, but one I read also quoted Shivas as saying that in some (many?) cases, with appropriate counseling, there IS change on the part of the offender, and the violence does not recur, and that is a good thing to keep the family unit together. Coming from the head of a violence against women organization, that is a strong statement. She is experienced; she is on the side of the victims; and she is still not one of those who is saying “one strike and you are out”.

    • bmaz says:

      I saw that article, or one like it, too. Cannot find it now, but would love to know where it was. There is no doubt that the diversion programs can, and often do, work. But the circumstances, and the couple, have to be right, and that requires proper assessment and screening.

      • bloopie2 says:

        I don’t think this is the exact article but it does have her comments as noted above.

        People have the ability to make changes in their behavior and in their understanding of things,” Shivas said. “You have to give people the opportunity to do that.”

        Shivas said she was also hopeful Rice — who was allowed into New Jersey’s pretrial intervention program (PTI) that spared the embattled running back jail and probation — has learned from his transgressions.

        “I hope he takes advantage of PTI and this chance to become rehabilitated,” Shivas said. “We already see that’s what Goodell is doing.”

        Link to article

  3. bloopie2 says:

    I am also reminded of the case of Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent who is being allowed to return to the NFL, though he won’t play right away. He retired last year and was sentenced to 180 days in jail after a trial in the intoxication manslaughter death of St. Louis native and teammate Jerry Brown. A 10-year prison sentence was suspended.

    How does one compare a punishment for killing someone with a punishment for punching someone? I just don’t know.

  4. Bay State Librul says:

    Aren’t what you are indirectly saying is that the law sucks.
    Diversion and legal mumbo jumbo.
    Wasn’t it assault and battery in the night time?

  5. Peterr says:

    Meanwhile, while the press was badgering Roger Goodell and the National Felon League, down in the minor leagues there was a bit of news as well. The National Criminal Athletics Association announced that they were cutting the penalty against Penn State for the failure to oversee and stop Jerry Sandusky to “time served.”
    This is either a devious “put this news out with the trash” move by the NCAA, or completely clueless. Whichever was the case, it has clearly floated under the radar.

  6. Jim White says:

    With our younger daughter now a senior in high school, I realized it had been years since we went to a Gator football game at the Swamp as a family, so I got tickets for tonight’s game against Kentucky. I’m an old curmudgeon and believe that the only appropriate home uniform is the blue tops with white pants. Much to my chagrin, right after I bought the tickets, it was announced that tonight is an “Orange Out” and the team will wear orange tops (sheesh, I hope they at least put the white pants with them…). Gator orange is ugly (but not nearly as ugly as Tennessee or Texas orange, thank goodness), but somehow the last two Gator shirts Lisa bought for me were orange. I got my revenge this week, forcing her and Katie to get orange shirts for tonight.
    The game could be interesting. Kentucky is coached by the only Stoops brother who seems to know what he is doing and they are giving hints that they could get their act together. Will the Gators blow past that with another blowout typical of the history of this matchup, or will Muschamp’s incompetence come back to dominate, putting last week’s fun far back in the rearview mirror?
    On a separate front, the campus is dealing with its own outbreak of violence. Even though the game didn’t happen during the weather delays of week one, there was a violent attack on a woman near campus while the stadium was still packed with fans hoping the game would start. An alert neighbor heard her screams and intervened before the woman was raped, but she had been beaten badly. A suspect matching the same description tried and failed another attack much later that same night and then at least once more several days later. The community is coming together, with a unified police command of campus, city and county law enforcement banding together and additional lighting has been added to the creepier parts of campus. A new program of walk escorts has come into being and the nighttime transportation service has doubled the number of vans in service. Given the attention the situation has gotten and the surveillance video of the suspect, it seems likely to me that someone will eventually figure out who he is and give the police the tip that will lead to him being caught. Dude is really big, like 6’3″ or something, so he should be easy to spot. Needless to say, security at tonight’s game will be highly visible.

    • scribe says:

      You note, correctly in the moral and common-sensical sense, that this single mom busted in NJ with a legal-in-PA handgun, is getting the royal shaft. Unfortunately, the shaft she is getting is the product of New Jersey’s obsession with criminalizing all gun possession and most severely at that.
      Running the long history of NJ’s draconian gun control laws up to the present would take a couple books. (NB: the leading treatise on NJ gun law is something well over 1000 pages long.) Suffice it to say that in 2008, Governor Corzine signed a bill which increased the penalties for gun crimes. Among those was raising the crime of possession of a handgun without a permit from a third-degree crime to a second-degree crime. This is simple possession, i.e., you have it in your car. [ A permit from your home state does not count, and New Jersey does not issue pistol permits in more than some small fraction of the applications.]
      This was a huge change for two reasons. First, as discussed in my long comment on Rice upthread, there is a presumption of imprisonment for 2nd-degree crimes while there is a presumption against imprisonment for 3rd-degree crimes. Second, there is a presumption against the defendant being admissible to/eligible for PTI, when it comes to 2nd-degree crimes. So, here’s what the NJ Attorney General’s guidance to county prosecutors said about it:

      Until recently, the Graves Act applied only when a person was convicted of possessing or using a firearm while in the course of committing certain predicate crimes, or possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a. Effective 1/13/08 the list of offenses that are subject to the Graves Act was significantly expanded … and that list now includes a number of possessory firearms crimes. Specifically, Graves Act mandatory sentencing provisions now also apply if a person is convicted of a … handgun … in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5a, b, or c. The offense of unlawful possession of a handgun … has also been upgraded to a second-degree crime.

      Cutting to its core, the Graves Act imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 to 5 years in state prison. From the AG’s guidance:

      Except as provided in N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.2, a person convicted of any of the foregoing firearms crimes must be sentenced to a term of imprisonment and minimum term of parole ineligibility fixed at, or between one-third to one-half of a sentence imposed, or three years, whichever is greater, ….

      One-third to one-half of the presumptive sentence for a second-degree crime is at least 3 years – I haven’t done sentencing for a long time, so I forget exactly what the presumptive sentence for 2nd degree was, but it is around 10 years IIRC.
      So, this mom is facing 3 years or more in a state prison.
      As to her eligibility for PTI, you should read section 5 of the AG’s guidance, captioned: “Strict enforcement of the Presumption of Ineligibility for Pre-trial Intervention in Graves Act Cases”. . It’s too long to blockquote, but the short version is this:
      “Prosecutors are authorized to permit a defendant to enter pretrial intervention only in rare cases involving extraordinary and compelling circumstances.”
      You should also note that, where there is a basis for charging a Graves Act violation, prosecutors are required to charge it. They are required to offer a sweetheart plea of one year incarceration, but that’s only for the initial plea offer – at a very early stage of the case. After that, all plea offers are required to start with 3 years incarceration. Moreover, they are not allowed to negotiate a plea which gets rid of the Graves Act charge except in the rarest of circumstances.
      While it might appear that her case falls within that narrow corner where she might be able to get PTI, I can almost guarantee you the prosecutor has found a way to find it outside that corner. The argument would go something like this: “the exception, allowing her to enter PTI, applies only when the defendant’s presence in New jersey was ‘incident to lawful travel’. If she had been travelling lawfully, she never would have been stopped by the police. Moreover, this is Atlantic County, way off in the far corner of the state. It would be one thing – and tenable – to offer PTI to someone travelling through the state on the Turnpike in Camden or Middlesex Counties. They were merely traversing the state en route to somewhere else. But she was not traversing the state – Atlantic County is a destination. And she stopped.”
      You have to understand that people in NJ have been successfully prosecuted for having a gun in their car in the following circumstance:
      (1) you can have a gun in your house without a permit,
      (2) you can have the gun at a firing range or hunting without a permit,
      (3) you can have the gun in your car to go from your house to the range or hunting and back,
      (4) you must go “directly” from your house to the range or hunting and back.
      “Directly” means no stops for gas, restroom breaks, food, picking up/dropping off someone and, arguably, only by the most direct, shortest route.

      Being in Atlantic County does not count as “directly”.

      She’s f’d.

      • bmaz says:

        And to Orion – I think Shaneen Allen should be given a diversion plea without any question. That said, Scribe is right, guns make it a whole different deal. Frankly other than on an emotional ground, I don’t think the situations are particularly analogous at all if you know criminal defense fairly well. Not only is there the huge difference because of the firearm status, much of the impetus on the domestic violence diversion is founded on a victim refusing to cooperate and testify in prosecution and who actively demands the diversion. Ms. Allen is in a position of a victimless crime, it is strictly about possessing; powerful victim considerations do not apply. That places it is a FAR different posture.

        • orionATL says:


          i was concerned about the blind injustice in the gun possession case.

          when a citizen is treated the way that young woman was treated and onlookers dust off their hands and walk away tsk, tsking, the american criminal justice system exposes itself for what it is – an industrial-scale meat grinding system – unless you are famous or rich.

          i guarantee you rice would never have served the three-year sentence for gun possession; every sensible argument that could be made against new jersey’s excess would be made in rice’s favor.

          • bmaz says:

            This is exactly one of my concerns about all the emotional hyperventilating over domestic violence in response to Ray Rice. Public commentators that don’t understand the system bellowing, politicians pontificating about “toughening the laws to make sure this doesn’t happen again” etc….this is exactly how draconian and inflexible laws and mandatory sentences come to be. Diversion programs are a great thing to have available as an option. Bringing light and knowledge about domestic violence is a great thing, bringing the inflexible stupid with it is not.

          • scribe says:

            clearly nj’s gun possession rewrite under corzine is in that category – punitive beyond reason with no leeway for prosecutor or judge to adjust for individual circumstance and no apparent concern that of the thousands charged with this crime there will inevitably be an important few dozen who aren’t running guns to virginia or georgia, or shooting up cops, or getting their kicks with armed robbery.

            It’s worth noting that none of this has precluded the development and continuance of an on-going low-level near-insurgency against the police in Jersey City. In addition to this summer’s instance of a repeat offender disarming an armed security guard in a chain drugstore, then using the guard’s gun to shoot and kill a cop responding (and himself then being killed by cops), there have been a series of incidents both before and after where people in JC have taken shots at cops and cop cars, mostly to no effect. The police response has been of a Ferguson nature, minus the tanks. And, as in Ferguson, it’s been largely white cops and white pols coming down hard on brown and black poor people that’s both caused this state of affairs and exacerbate and continue it.
            Say what you like about gun control but I know I have better manners in approaching and dealing with other people when in jurisdictions where concealed carry is legal, easy and widespread, when compared to jurisdictions where no one carries legally. I suspect the same obtains for other people. And, FWIW, in the 14 or 15 months since the 7th Circuit has compelled Illinois to issue concealed carry permits, Chicago’s crime rate has cratered to 50+ year lows. That, despite no changes in police practices.

            i guarantee you rice would never have served the three-year sentence for gun possession; every sensible argument that could be made against new jersey’s excess would be made in rice’s favor.

            Tell that to Plaxico Burris. If you recall, he shot himself with a gun he was carrying in the waistband of his sweats while out clubbing in NYC. He did not have a permit for the gun in NYC, nor did he have a permit for it in his home in NJ. He did have one for it in his “home state” of Florida (though I think it may have expired). While NJ forewent prosecuting him that was only because (1) there was no direct proof he possessed it in NJ and, more importantly (2) NY was already prosecuting him, driven by Bloomberg himself making a huge hue and cry demanding Burris do hard jail time. And Burris did almost 2 years in Attica – which was a better sentence than he could have received out of NJ.
            Also of interest is something else I’ve pointed at a number of times earlier this week, regarding the No Fun League’s disclaimer of knowledge re the Rice video. Recall that when Burris shot himself early on a Sunday morning, the Giants knew about it before the NYPD did, and they and Burris almost got away with getting his gunshot wound treated at Bellevue under a false name, almost avoiding the inquiry that necessarily follows the required report to police of a gunshot wound. Teams and the League know anything and everything, and fast.

      • orionATL says:

        thanks for taking the time to fill in the huge blank space in my understanding.

        one of the more infuriating legal injustices/follies is legislatures passing laws that impose grossly dispropprtionate punishment that will cause no useful behavior change in society but do serious harm to some individuals charged.

        clearly nj’s gun possession rewrite under corzine is in that category – punitive beyond reason with no leeway for prosecutor or judge to adjust for individual circumstance and no apparent concern that of the thousands charged with this crime there will inevitably be an important few dozen who aren’t running guns to virginia or georgia, or shooting up cops, or getting their kicks with armed robbery.

        what happened to this young woman is analagous to a person’s being given a life sentence for murder or rape when there is exculpating dna evidence in police/prosecutor’s hands.

        or the parent of a child who dies of heatstroke while locked in a car being sentenced to jail when that parent has already endured the worse punishment imaginable.

        or the insanely ineffective legislative vindictiveness enacted for various grades of drug possession.

  7. RexFlex says:

    I don’t think Goodell is lying at all. This is straight out of Iran Contra, you know the President was out of the loop kinda thing. I think they intentionally set up an independent contractor to handle the debacle out of the circle of the commissioner to insulate the commissioner. The investigation will not ask how the NFl handled the back room dealings and thus will drag on for a couple of months and conclude very factually that the commissioner did not see the second tape.
    However, Goodell admitting that, even after releasing the manifesto, that he didn’t get it right, is the most damning of all. They hedged their bets on a two game suspension and lost big time.

    • bmaz says:

      Goodell may have willfully avoided seeing the tape, but he is lying through his teeth to say that NFL Security and/or Ravens Security just couldn’t get it. He also appears to be lying about the degree of Rice’s allocution to what happened. It is disgusting and disgraceful cover your ass by Goodell. He is an assclown.

      • Peterr says:

        Yes, he is.
        But this — “Who do you root for here, Rice or Goodell?” — is a false choice. It is eminently possible to root against both, and hope that both pay the price for their actions (or lack thereof).
        Best case scenario: Rice sues the NFL and the ensuing trial brings out such nastiness that however the case is decided, Goodell gets canned and no GM or coach wants Rice anywhere close to their team.

  8. fiddlin' Bill says:

    How can Goodell realistically be viewed as credible, no matter what he says, given that the 2nd tape was proved to be in house. The secretary calls back, confirms receipt, and even comments on it, then tosses it in a drawer? Yeah, right. The only way Goodell didn’t see it is if he averted his eyes purposefully.

  9. bloopie2 says:

    Anyhow, the best laid plans aft gang agley, as they say:

    “The Free Syrian Army will not take part in U.S. plans for destroying the Islamic State, the group’s founder said.”

    Rather, they will join with ISIS in fighting Assad.

    So, who’s on first, again?

    • bmaz says:

      The article I saw also had one or more other domestic violence groups quoted or referenced as well, and was much more in depth. I have looked, but just can’t find it now.

      • bloopie2 says:

        It’s Google’s fault, actually. You know, the “right to be forgotten”? Goes hand in hand with that top-secret group of employees they have (never heard this before, have you?) who just make stuff up and put it on the Internet. What a great job that would be.

  10. Bitter Angry Drunk says:

    @bmaz I’m not unsympathetic to the idea that people make mistakes and at some point they have to be allowed to get on with their lives. I also have some pretty close-hand experience with domestic violence and I understand that marriages can overcome some very bad episodes. Just with the indisputable evidence with Ray Rice (the tape), I was surprised that the legal system responded the way it did. That was the basis of my original comment.

    As it happens, Ray Rice, as an NFL running back, may have already been at the end. His numbers last year were dreadful (also due to a bad o-line) and he’s taken the typical pounding over the past 5-6 years in the league. At this point I feel badly for the Rices that the whole world knows of and will remember their misery, even as cases like McDonald and Hardy will surely soon be forgotten (no video). The Jovan Belcher story almost instantly plunged down the rabbit hole.

    Sickening as Rice’s actions were, we can’t throw everyone in the super-max for the crime of making us feel badly that we care about the NFL. The Rices have to be allowed to live their lives again, and if they choose to do it together, that’s their business.

  11. Peterr says:

    Adrian Peterson’s situation seems like a textbook example of the mindset prevalent in fundamentalist circles that corporal punishment cannot possibly be abusive. Indeed, some go so far as to claim it is biblical for a father to beat a disobedient child, and those who do not are endangering their children in both body and soul.
    I can easily believe that a grand jury in Texas would have enough such people on it that it would decline to return an indictment against a father who is trying to teach his child right from wrong with a switch.
    I’m more surprised that they were able to find a jury that did.

    • bmaz says:

      I am shocked more people, especially legal types, are not carping about double dipping on grand juries. I find it troubling, and always have.
      As to Texas, yeah, agree. The times have changed for corporal punishment, has Texas finally caught up to them? My guess is still, ultimately, no he gets acquitted.

      • scribe says:

        I’d love to be shocked that the Texas prosecutor double-dipped the GJ, but I’m not. It’s Texas.

        As I noted to you in the background, BMAz, I think Peterson’s real crime was being uppity as applied in the prosecutor’s office for Montgomery County, Texas.

        • bmaz says:

          Note that the Montgomery County attorney is now denying there was more than one GJ. Sure were a lot of reports stating two though. Not sure what is up.

  12. masaccio says:

    I started watching Ravens Steelers; I don’t know whether it was the camera angles or what, but the hitting seemed utterly out of control. It was so unpleasant I turned it off.

    It’s no wonder these guys lose control in their personal lives, their on-field lives are just barely under control.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      As Denis and Callahan, Talk Radio Boston, sayeth “You have to be nuts to play in the NFL.”
      3 out 10 develop dementia, violence, drugs, and law breaking.
      Yet we watch? I’m guilty….
      Maybe, QB’s and Kickers are exempt from the nutso moniker.
      Goodell should be fired for either lying or incompetence, your choice.

  13. scribe says:

    The disposition of Rice’s case in NJ was well within the wide range of cases that go into PTI, the abbreviation for Pre-Trial Intervention. That’s what they call “diversion” in NJ.

    Without going into a term paper on PTI, (here’s the civilian-language site ) keep in mind that the essence of PTI is getting counseling and keeping one’s nose clean. The offender has to successfully complete all the requirements of PTI to get the benefits of PTI. Those benefits are dismissal of the charges and erasure of the record. If the offender fails to successfully complete PTI, then the charge is returned to the trial list. In other words, the criminal case goes forward. Also keep in mind that a grand jury indicted Rice – 23 people voted by majority vote that it was more likely than not that the crime of 3rd degree aggravated assault took place and that Rice committed it. Granted, NJ grand juries like GJ everywhere are pretty much rubberstamps but, still, it is a grand jury indictment. There is an extensive set of rules and commentary on the rules governing PTI. The language of the rule and the commentary are here – there are a huge number of cases reporting on how to interpret them (usually when the defendant was denied PTI). (Note also that the guidelines indicate that, when the offense is indictable, the decision on admission to PTI is to be deferred until after the GJ has had its chance at the case.) Note also the 17 criteria, established by statute and repeated in the comment to guideline 3, for the prosecutor to consider when deciding on whether to admit the defendant to PTI.

    All in all, PTI is not something given out like candy or Mardi Gras beads. While it appears a substantial number of DV cases do get diverted to PTI, it is fair to conclude that the subset of DV cases so diverted are those in which the offense is a one-off. If the spouse was a habitually violent person, had a record, has a history of anti-social behavior, etc., PTI
    is going to be off the table.

    Note also we have not seen the actual video of the elevator incident; we have seen a cellphone video of the actual video running on a TV screen. The actual video from a surveillance camera is going to be pin-sharp – they are that good. Because the video is relatively murky it’s hard to say whether dismissing the charge against the now-Mrs. Rice was warranted or not, whether it was mutual combat or one-side-only. Regardless, she got the worst of it. And the injury she suffered – knocked out cold – suffices to support an indictment for 3rd degree agg assault. This is a serious felony, with a possible prison term of years. In NJ 3rd degree crimes have a presumption against incarceration, meaning that while a prison sentence is available, there is a general disinclination to imposing one. OTOH, 2nd degree crimes have a presumption in favor of incarceration (and 1st degree require some incarceration); 2nd and 1st degree crimes are the most serious. Moreover, PTI is not available for 2nd and 1st degree crimes.

    So, Rice was charged as high as he could be and still get PTI. If he fails to complete PTI he’s got a strong possibility of prison time – any judge in NJ cannot help but notice the outcry against Rice and, being human, play to it. The league banishing him from work can’t help Rice complete PTI. Indeed, they’re making things more difficult for him and I suspect his lawyers are looking at that angle, too.

    Rice was wrong to do what he did, but King Roger the Clown really stepped on his dick in this case. It’s not the first time. He did much the same in convicting several Saints of participating in the bounty system when they had nothing to do with it. He stole time from their careers to make himself look good. And it’s fairly clear King roger lied like a damned rug about not having had, let alone seen, the video. He’s full of shit, just like he’s always been.

  14. emptywheel says:

    FWIW, the way Harbaugh said the Ravens would do everything they could for Rice and Janay led me to believe he had been heavily incented to walk away quietly. And why not? Baltimore buys him off for now, that lessens the pressure on ousting Goodell, and by behaving nicely, Rice stays in good with the league in hopes he can be reinstated (at which point there’s no way he’ll have RB days left).

    • scribe says:

      The Ravens will do everything they can for Rice except pay him the money they contracted to pay him.

      After all, in the National Felon League, it always comes down to money.

      • emptywheel says:

        See, I suspect they’ll pay him OTHER money (not subject to the salary cap, for example). Because there are two witnesses to his meeting with Goodell, And Goodell wants both to remain quiet.

    • bmaz says:

      I have been expecting to hear some such rumblings, but have not, only flat out termination. I am serious, I think he has some legitimate arguments that he cannot be punished by more than the new standard for first time offenders, six games. Heck, I think he has a pretty good argument it was impermissible to go beyond the two games previously entered. By my understanding though, not that the league sent the official notice letter, Rice and NFLPA must respond pretty quickly, as in 3 days to notice an appeal.

    • bmaz says:

      Would be happy if he was I guess. But not sure any replacement would be that much different, and sure as hell do not want Condi Rice. They will not fire Goodell, because he is what is insulating the owners on all this crap. They want and need that shield, it is precisely what they pay him for. Keep in mind Mara and Rooney, the two execs leading the “independent investigation” are Goodell’s best friends among the owners.

  15. JohnT says:

    Here I thought I was gonna say something about the Vikings going 2-0 (WOOOT!11!!) but the news about Peterson took the wind out of my sails.

    But anywhooo, I told ya the Giants are making their run (watch out MLB)

    So, Vikings win against BillBell and Bieber, and the Giants take the over West after this weekend

    • scribe says:

      She can then go from torturer, prosecutor, jury, judge and executioner of scary brown people overseas to torturer, investigator, prosecutor, jury, judge and executioner of scary black men domestically.

      Here’s hoping James Harrison can get close enough to throw some shoes, preferably Ferragamo, at her.

  16. Peterr says:

    You knew this website had to be coming . . . NFL Crimes: NFL Players Arrested From 2000 to Present.
    You can sort by team, position, crime, or various combinations thereof. At first glance, it would appear that if you’re going to date or marry a football player, kickers and fullbacks (not running backs!) are the way to go. Receivers, cornerbacks, and linebackers, not so much.

  17. bmaz says:

    welp, advantage Giants with no Carson Palmer on the field for the Cards today, and advantage Kitties with no Greg Hardy, who was a late scratch for the Panthers.

  18. Bay State Librul says:

    Belichick and Pats go on the defensive

    From the Globe…………

    “It’s OK to call this the bounce back game.

    There’s so many players on the Patriots roster that bettered their efforts Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. The 30-7 win was sparked almost entirely by the defense, which accounted for four interceptions against former Patriots backup quarterback Matt Cassel, as well as a blocked field goal.”

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