With Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce now able to focus only on the reality of football and not on the possibility of prison, there’s one last point we’d like to address.
Why did prosecutors seek an indictment of Pierce for taking possession of the gun with which receiver Plaxico Burress blew a hole through his leg?
Our best guess is that prosecutors brought Pierce along for the ride to give the jury a vehicle for compromise. If some of them were concerned about a law that could be regarded as imposing harsh punishment for conduct occurring without criminal intent and some of them were insisting on the strict and literal application of that law, the grand jurors were able to bargain among themselves, agreeing not to indict Pierce but to indict Burress.
Without Pierce, Burress possibly wouldn’t have been indicted at all. With Pierce, the jurors who might not have been thrilled to apply the law as written were able to get something in return for indicting Burress.
The best evidence of a compromise likely would be reflected by the outcome of the balloting process. If the vote to indict Burress and the vote not to indict Pierce were unanimous, chances are the outcome was the result of the kind of back-and-forth that, while leaving everyone a little upset, gets things done.