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Robert Littal of Black Sports Online feels as though Plaxico Burress is catching a raw deal, and outlines ten facts that are germane in the incident and why he feels the two years in jail seems too harsh a penalty. While I think he makes a few fair points, I have to disagree with Mr. Littal's overall view on the situation.

Plaxico Burress had an illegal weapon on his person in New York City. While I empathize as to why he was carrying a concealed weapon--a teammate had been robbed at gunpoint the previous week--the above is a truth that cannot be avoided. Rather than hire armed professionals to ensure his safety, he--with the willful permission of The Latin Quarter nightclub--entered the premises with this concealed weapon. Even if he were able to carry the gun legally, the presence of the weapon increases the danger to others exponentially (For the record, I don't feel any different about guns in the hands of police officers).

Burress' actions endangered the safety of others in a crowded enclosed space and said actions were done illegally. At the request of security, he agreed to hand over the gun. In attempting to handle this illegal firearm, it discharged; the bullet striking him in the thigh and almost striking a nearby security guard. Upon realizing what had taken place, he and a teammate fled the scene and attempted to cover up the multiple crimes that Burress committed.

As the evidence mounted against him, Burress turned himself into police and began to plea bargain. The crimes he committed warranted a maximum fifteen years in prison and a minimum of three. Prosecutors offered him a plea deal of three months, which he refused. The state of New York had little choice but to move forward with its case which Burress could never hope to win. Upon realizing this, Burress took a two year plea deal.

In accordance with the laws of New York and the facts above, how exactly did Plaxico Burress catch a raw deal?

--JONATHAN PITTS-WILEY