Donte Stallworth or Michael Vick: Who Is Worse?

Time To Ask A Serious Question. Who's Worse: Vick Or Stallworth?

6/16/09 in NFL   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

I think you're kidding yourself if you weren't slightly taken aback by the ridiculously light penalty that Donte Stallworth got today for running over a man and killing him - all of this while Stallworth was drunk. Stallworth wound up with a penalty of 30 days in jail after pleading guilty in Florida to a DUI manslaughter charge. He also has to serve 10 years probation and do 1,000 community service hours. But basically, dude got off scot-free.

Now, you're probably wondering how that happened. Well, Florida has an interesting exception in their DUI manslaughter law for “causation.”  Essentially, if the victim helped cause the accident, the driver, though drunk, is not inevitably fully responsible. Since the man Stallworth killed, Mario Reyes, was jaywalking, there you go.

But this brings up an interesting question. Who is worse: Stallworth or Michael Vick?

The cases are by no means identical, of course, but let's address both of them anyway. Vick did two and half years for deliberately killing dogs in some rather horrific ways (in addition to taking dogs bred for fighting over state lines). Probably the most important thing in the Vick case is that there was clear intent by Vick to kill the dogs, which is the primary reason why so many people still want Vick's head on a plate.

Stallworth, meanwhile, didn't deliberately mean to kill Mario Reyes at all. However, Stallworth was legally drunk when he hit and killed Reyes. Would Stallworth still have hit Reyes had he been sober? We'll never know, but the facts are clear, Stallworth was drunk.

So I guess the real question here is what do you deem to be worse? Is intentionally killing dogs worse than accidentally killing a human being while driving when you're tipsy?

Even though you may say both are awful, and they are, the law apparently seems to think there's a difference between the two. Vick did two and half years in prison, Stallworth will do 30 days.

I realize a large part of Stallworth's sentence is based on him having had this happen in Florida, and in other states, he could have easily gotten 15 years. But I just don't feel like there's as much anger in regards to Stallworth's case as their is with Vick's.

Is intention the key here? Or is that we're missing the point completely? As in killing a dog really shouldn't be a worse crime than killing a person, even if killing the person is unintentional.
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