June 15 Is A Key Date For Burress

Regardless of whether teams are interested in free-agent receiver Plaxico Burress, much could be learned about his availability to play football in 2009 when he returns to court on June 15 for a hearing in the pending criminal case against him.
Burress faces felony charges arising from possession of an unlicensed and loaded weapon in a Manhattan club.  The gun fired inadvertently while he was carrying it, and Burress was shot in the leg.
If convicted on the second-degree felony charge he currently faces, Burress would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 3.5 years.  Cases of this nature often are resolved via a guilty plea to a reduced charge, which entails a much shorter prison stay.
We’ve previously reported that Burress has rejected deals that would have allowed him to exit custody before the start of training camp.  At this stage of the offseason, it’s unlikely that such an arrangement would result in Burress being available for the full preseason preparations.
And so the challenge for his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, will be to finesse a trial date beyond the completion of the 2009 football season.  Whether the prosecution and/or the judge agrees with that approach remains to be seen.
Criminal defendants have a constitutional right to a speedy trial, but they have no right to slam the brakes on the process to suit their employment or other interests.
So if Burress emerges from the June 15 hearing with a trial date of mid-February or later, teams with coaches and/or General Managers on the hot seat in 2009 might be interested in a one-year rental.  But if Burress ends up being faced with a September or October or November or December trial date, he’s likely to continue to be without a team.
Actually, a prompt trial date might be the best way to get Burress to take a deal.  And if the prosecutor would be willing to defer jail time until after the season, Burress might go for it.
The only problem with that approach, however, is that Burress undoubtedly would end up being suspended by the Commissioner after he pleads guilty.
Regardless of the manner in which this case unfolds, we’ll all know something more after the June 15 hearing.

12 responses to “June 15 Is A Key Date For Burress

  1. Plax is an idiot, hes proven it time and again..but then again, I wouldnt mind seeing this idiot lining up opposite of Randy (Moss) for NE. I still cant decide if I would want Vick on the Pats after hearing that they may be one of the teams that could take him in. Would there be a better team to remold Vick than the model francise Pats?

  2. can’t understand for the life of me why anyone is talking about this guy playing this year. burress is going to jail. All the evidence is there for the mandatory sentence. he’s gone

  3. with the elections coming up in the fall,the political winds are not blowing favorably for plaxico.can you spell law and order children?
    law and order is a nice campaign platform to run on,the mayor wants to be re-elected,so old plaxico could be sacrificed on the altar of politics.

  4. can’t understand for the life of me why anyone is talking about this guy playing this year. burress is going to jail. the evidence is there for conviction and mandatory sentencing. he’s gone

  5. I hope the judge plays hardball. Facing 3.5 years and being offered a couple of weeks at a country club jail that ALSO allows him to not miss a single day of work and HE TURNED IT DOWN!!! That kind of stupidity needs to be punished. Let him lose a season’s pay. The arrogant ass has it coming. Any of the rest of us would never have gotten a deal that good.

  6. moonbeam says:
    May 23rd, 2009 at 3:13 pm
    “…the mayor wants to be re-elected,so old plaxico could be sacrificed on the altar of politics. ”
    I don’t care about the politics, he should be put away for 3.5 years because he BROKE THE LAW.

  7. john i’m a new yorker,gun possession for the first offense does not automatically get you a three and a half year sentence.if you have no priors,the judge is less harsh than if you are a recidivist.the fact is the penal system in new york is probably maxed out with inmates.
    john,i sympathize with you,but you have to look at the situation as it is.the jails in new york are running at full capacity,where you going to put him???
    i have a bitter aftertaste in my mouth for what plaxico burress did,but,i have to be realistic with the way it is in new york.

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