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December 4, 2008

Plaxico as teaching tool: omission liability, complicity, prosecutorial discretion . . .

As all my students know too well, I love high-profile criminal cases because they provide great teaching moments (and perhaps great exam hypotheticals).  And, thanks to more legal developments today, the Plaxico Burress case just keeps on giving.

First, consider this new story from Newsday, headlined "Doctor who treated Plaxico suspended, facing charges."  Here are the highlights:

If the doctor at the center of the Plaxico Burress nightclub shooting is prosecuted for not reporting the gunshot wound to police, she will be just the fourth person charged with such an offense since 2000 in New York State, according to authorities.

Dr. Josyann Abisaab has emerged as a sidebar to the case in which Burress accidentally shot himself in the right thigh inside the midtown nightclub Latin Quarter early Saturday morning.... Abisaab, 44, has privileges at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where, according to police sources, she treated Burress early Saturday.

Abisaab, however, did not call police, as state law requires, and could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and spend a year in jail. Abisaab on Monday was suspended by the hospital.

Second, check out this new FoxSports piece, headlined "Report: Pierce will testify before grand jury."  Here is how it starts:

Embattled Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce will play ball — with prosecutors.  The linebacker will cooperate and testify before a Manhattan grand jury about how teammate Plaxico Burress clumsily shot himself in the leg at a nightclub, The New York Post has learned.

Pierce's testimony should guarantee an indictment against Super Bowl hero Burress for felony weapon possession — but at the same time, give Pierce a pass on charges of hiding the wide receiver's .40-caliber Glock pistol after the shooting.

Who knew that Plaxico's self-inflicted wound on Friday would end up being an early holiday present for law professors like me eager to come up with good new ideas when writing my final exam?

Related posts on the Plaxico Burress case:

December 4, 2008 at 04:05 PM | Permalink

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