As expected, receiver Plaxico Burress — one of the heroes of Super Bowl XLII — has been formally sentenced to two years in prison.
The term begins immediately.
With good behavior, Burress is expected to be eligible for release after 20 months.
Burress pleaded guilty last month in the face of felony charges arising from his decision to take a loaded Glock into a Manhattan night club in November 2008. His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, opted to allow Burress to testify before a grand jury in the hopes of dodging an indictment. (The same tactic worked for Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce, who assumed possession of the gun after the shooting and took it to New Jersey.)
Once the grand jury decided that the charges against Burress were justified, Brafman acknowledged that there was no credible defense.
Under New York law, carrying an unlicensed and loaded weapon potentially results in a mandatory minimum sentence of 3.5 years. The two-year plea bargain was reached via a guilty plea to a lesser charge.
Many have disputed the fairness of the outcome, especially since the crime came to light only because Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg. But the broader purpose here is to ensure that people don’t take loaded and unlicensed weapons into Manhattan.
And if anyone who frequents Manhattan didn’t already know it, they sure as hell do now.