We pointed out on Friday the possibility that receiver Plaxico Burress eventually could be pardoned by New York governor David Paterson.
More recently, Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com made the case for a full pardon of Plaxico.
And in the wake of the player’s recent interview with Jeremy Schaap of ESPN, it sure seems as if Burress is trying to finagle a certain orange card from the ultimate powers-that-be in the state of New York.
Burress has accepted full and complete responsibility for his actions, typically a key ingredient in justifying a pardon. And the tears he shed on camera coupled with the Roethlisberger-style contention that the bullet that tore through his leg missed his femoral artery by only two millimeters surely were aimed at building public opinion in his favor.
But would Paterson do it? Would an embattled chief executive whose plans to run for the office he inherited from disgraced former governor Eliot Spitzer could be crumbling step in and set Plaxico free?
If Paterson ultimately opts to exit the 2010 race, a pardon would entail no political consequences. If Paterson loses the primary (based on July polling, he trails likely opponent Attorney General Andrew Cuomo by a margin of more than two to one), a pardon likewise would create no fallout.
Actually, there’s a case to be made that a pardon would actually help Paterson, to the extent that folks beyond the borders of New York City have a distaste for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose brazen, public call that Plaxico be put in the “slammer” might have rubbed folks the wrong way. Recently, Bloomberg offered support for Paterson via quotes that arguably could be interpreted as condescension. If the relationship between the two politicians becomes strained, we wouldn’t be shocked if Paterson decides to twist the tail of Prison Mike by setting Burress free.
Since Burress is expected to commence his two-year term not long after his September 22 sentencing, it’s likely that a pardon would come only after Burress has served several months in prison, especially since the primary is scheduled for September 2010.
Still, we’re now inclined to think that a pardon is possible — especially if/when a governor who seems to be destined for lame-duck status officially acquires that label.