Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Here We Go Again

An article just popped up on SI.com saying that Chicago prosecutors want Tank Johnson in jail due to his two arrests on gun charges and one for assaulting an officer.  Here's the article.  I don't know if he is innocent or guilty, but there are two paragraphs at the end of the article that bug me.
 

In an earlier hearing, Johnson and his attorney, Lorna Propes, presented evidence of the devastating impact a jail sentence would have on Johnson's career in the NFL. Don Johnson, the Bears defensive line coach described Johnson's work with the Bears and the possible end of his playing days if he went to jail.

They'll argue on March 15 that Johnson should receive community service rather than being sent to jail. Propes has arranged with authorities for Johnson to do motivational speaking and physical training for teen boys sentenced to boot camp in Lake County, Ill. Propes will suggest that Johnson would be a positive influence on juvenile boys who are in trouble.

 
This is an issue I've written about in this space before.  Why does Tank Johnson (or any other athlete - see: Jamal Lewis) get special consideration regarding how his possible jail sentence would impact his professional career?  If any of us were found guilty of any of these charges and sent to jail, we would not get a chance to finish any projects we have prior to serving our jail sentence.  Why?  Because we broke the law.  When you break the law, the punishment is that you forfeit your rights and freedoms.  It should be no different for Tank Johnson.  In fact, giving Tank Johnson special consideration undermines the entire point of the punishment in the first place.  If the punishment doesn't effectively impact his livelihood, then it will not serve as punishment or as a deterrent in the future.
 
Don Johnson stated that it could possibly signal the end of Tank Johnson's playing days if he went to jail.  Too freaking bad.  You know how to keep your career from ending due to a jail sentence?  DON'T BREAK THE LAW.

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