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Former Patriots WR Stallworth Sentenced to 30 Days in Prison

In case you haven’t heard yet, ex-Patriots WR Donte’ Stallworth was sentenced to 30 days in prison for the manslaughter of a pedestrian in a drunk driving accident in March 2009. Stallworth fully cooperated with investigators at the time of the accident and throughout the investigation. Stallworth will have his license suspended for life, but may gain limited approval after five years for work-related driving.

While many are up in arms of the short sentence, there were some mitigating factors at play in this case:

  1. The pedestrian was not in a crosswalk when he crossed the causeway to catch a bus home. Instead, he was in the left lane of a six-lane highway.
  2. Poor lighting: despite the accident happening around 7AM, it was still dark at the time.
  3. Stallworth tried to signal to the pedestrian by blinking his lights (and possibly breaking). Stallworth was going over the speed limit, but only 50MPH in 40MPH zone.
  4. Stallworth fully cooperated with officials and made the 911 call himself on the day of the accident (knowing full-well he had been drinking).

Clearly, not all the evidence has come out to the public (at least that I could find) on this one, but it does appear that there is more to this case than what quickly meets the eye. That said, 30 days seems like an awfully short sentence for what Stallworth did, especially given that he was driving drunk. The NFL will also have their say about the incident and what actions, if any, they will take against Stallworth.

Also, just to put a pervasive rumor going around the web to rest, regardless of what Stallworth pays/paid the victim’s family in a settlement, it had no bearing on the outcome his criminal sentencing today. Civil cases (where payments are generally made) are not the same as criminal cases (this one). Go back to your high school Law class notes for more details!

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Discussion

2 comments for “Former Patriots WR Stallworth Sentenced to 30 Days in Prison”

  1. Yeah, Stallworth did not pay off the judge haha, but the family also didn’t pursue a separate lawsuit because of the settlement (what does that say about the family?).

    The minimum for vehicular homicide in Florida is 10 years without a plea deal (if the prosecution proved Donte did something to cause the accident, like fail to hit the brakes or something else)…so everyone should be mad.

    Moving the details aside (though what is a pedestrian doing on a highway)…Stallworth killed someone and was driving drunk behind the wheel. A man’s life was lost and Stallworth was driving drunk….but only serves 30 days in jail.

    Sure, he’ll have to live with it the rest of his life, but he killed a human being and is only serving 30 days in prison. What kind of precedence does it set?

    I suppose if you have a lot of money and mutilate dogs (Mike Vick), it’s one thing. You’ll be sentenced to 2 yrs in prison and bankrupted, despite cooperating all along with authorities.

    In Stallworth’s case, he recklessly killed a man (a human, not a dog), while accidental, and will serve 30 days in jail plus many years on probation.

    So, if you’re rich (to pay off the family) and cooperate with police, you can get off pretty light for killing another human being.

    Now, I wonder if Roger Goodell will suspend him for at least one year (maybe two). Does his prison sentence affect Goodell’s planned punishment? We will see…

    Posted by KC | June 17, 2009, 11:12 am
  2. [...] gives the Patriots yet another deep threat at wide receiver. In 2007, this role was filled by the recently jailed Donte Stallworth. What Galloway brings to the table is speed and experience. Though he missed most of last season [...]

    Posted by 2009 Training Camp Preview: Wide Receivers | Sports of Boston | August 5, 2009, 7:53 pm

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