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December 5, 2008

If instant polling matters in criminal justice administration, Plaxico may be in trouble

I was amazed this afternoon to discover from this news report that a research group has already run a quick poll to assess Americans' perceptions of New York Giants' wide receiver Plaxico Burress' arrest and charges of illegal gun possession after he accidentally shot himself.  Here is the start of the news report:

A new national study among 300 football fans and non-fans revealed that the majority (75%) reported that Burress should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for illegal gun possession, after viewing a news segment regarding the incident in a New York night club.

Notably, this study's question about the law apparently included the prospect of a mandatory 3.5 year sentencing term in state prison.  Here is the question in the survey according to the news report:

"Do you think that Burress should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law? (If convicted, Burress would serve a mandatory minimum of 3 1/2 years in prison)."

Related posts on the Plaxico Burress case:

December 5, 2008 at 06:07 PM | Permalink

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Comments

I take this to mean that 75% of the population opposes the Second Amendment. Much more than support the death penalty. Funny, that. Where is Scalia's democratism now?

Posted by: DK | Dec 6, 2008 2:16:50 AM

It might mean, DK, that they think rich football stars --- who can afford bodyguards and are seen as role models --- should be punished for abuse of Second Amendment rights.

I suspect this poll question leads to a different set of answers if a young woman, threatened by an abusive ex-husband, shot herself in midtown NYC while shopping for holiday gifts.

Funny, that. In all criminal justice settings, race, wealth and gender influence public opinions.

Posted by: Doug B. | Dec 6, 2008 11:56:56 AM

I don't understand how a firearm misfiring into oneself constitutes an "abuse" of one's Second Amendment right to possess a firearm for self defense. Maybe it's just me. (Although I'm sure Kent will get my back here.)

Posted by: DK | Dec 7, 2008 2:35:29 AM

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