MADD “shocked and appalled” by Josh Brent sentence


Former Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent will serve less than half a year in jail after he was convicted of intoxication manslaughter, and America’s foremost anti-drunk driving organization says that’s unacceptable.

In a statement released shortly after the sentencing, Mothers Against Drunk Driving said Brent deserved a stiffer sentence.

“Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is shocked and appalled with the sentence handed down to former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent for his intoxication manslaughter conviction in the death of his friend and teammate Jerry Brown. This punishment sends the message that it’s OK to drink and drive — but it’s absolutely not,” the statement said. “Drunk driving is unacceptable and 100 percent preventable, yet each year more than 10,000 people are killed and another 345,000 are injured in drunk driving crashes. MADD wishes that a non-drinking designated driver would’ve been a part of their plans that night, so that Jerry Brown would still be alive today.”

Brent could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, but he was sentenced to 180 days in prison and 10 years of probation.

101 responses to “MADD “shocked and appalled” by Josh Brent sentence

  1. I would tend to agree, except the shocked part. He’s wealthy, plays in the NFL, not a shocked bone in my body. I’d personally put him away for 10-15..that’s just me though.

  2. A normal person would not have gotten 10 years minimum…… I know someone who was found guilty of the same charge but the person they killed was another driver and only got 2 years 20 years probation

  3. Interesting juxtaposition of 2 murder trials coming down so close together. Both found guilty, but with very different results. I am sure that Erik Rivera didn’t mean to kill Sean Taylor either. What’s the difference? 57 years vs 6 months jail. Oh yeah, Josh Brent plays football for the Cowboys.

  4. Except Brent doesn’t have a lot of money. This sentence came down to the victim’s mom asking the judge to be light because they were best friends and he felt he suffered enough. Not saying it’s right, but, case by case.

  5. Had Josh Brent killed another person besides the equally drunk passenger in his car that night I would expect a stiffer sentence. But what it all boils down to is that both players drunk that night and Jerry felt it was in his best interest at the time to get in the passenger seat with a drunk driver. Had Jerry not been worse off than Josh he would have been the one driving home that night and there circumstances could have been reversed. Both dudes were to drunk to even consider taking a cab. Besides 10 years suspended sentence & probation is no joke. Usually the offender will have a misstep and tossed in the slammer for violating their probation anyways.

  6. America always gripes about other countries corruptness, but every single rich person prosecuted in America buys there way out of doing time.

  7. And the victims mother begged that he didn’t go to jail.. For all you people that don’t know facts.

  8. Yeah nobody would have gotten 10 years for that, rich or not, unless they killed a kid or something. Brent’s friend took the risk of getting into a car with a drunk driver. You’re taking your life in your hands when you do that. MADD is a joke though.

  9. I love how all of these people are law experts and can tell you what the “normal person” would have gotten for the same charge. I am a cop in Essex County Nj. Do some research and find out how much time some truly hard core criminals serve on some serious convictions over there. You’d be stunned at how lenient the sentences are…..and you are certainly not dealing with people who are rich either. Yet, people who get convicted of the same crimes just 30 miles away in a different NJ county get buried under the jail.

    There are lots of different factors that go into the sentencing of convicted felons.

  10. I think its time we as american citizens get a grip. Can you imagine spending 10 years in jail? Think of what that would do to you. After that much time you would not be able to simply walk back into society. The reason prisoners have such a high relapse rate is the they spend so much time behind bars the can’t readjust to normal society. The goal of prison is rehabilitation which is simply not possible after such long periods incarcerated. Anything more than 6 months to a year for a crime that was not intentional or malice by nature is just simply draconian

  11. Please stop with the “normal person” would’ve gotten however many years. I have a friend who went through the same exact situation. The victims mother was also supportive and very opposed to him going to jail for it. Knowing the roles could have easily been reversed. Spent less than a year in county jail and is on probation. People speak with such strong opinions on topics they know nothing about.

  12. 40% of intoxication manslaughter convictions get probation without 180 days in jail. Look it up before you spew. So, MADD is mad about him getting more than probation? Yes, tragic and unavoidable. But his “status” got him more than typical. If not for his status, given the reasonable doubt presented by the defense, he would have been acquitted of intoxication manslaughter. Negligence? Stupidity? Absolutely. 10-15 years in the klink? No way.

  13. Part of me says he should of gotten more. This part of me feels the same way about Donte Stallworth.

    The other part of me believes his inner torture of knowing he’s responsible for a friends death, and knowing that everyone looks at him that way now is probably worse than a jail cell.

  14. This was the right punishment this guy killed his friend and he has to live with that everyday. They let a good night get that out of control that one of them got killed, that could happen to any of us.

    This guy is obviously deeply sorry this occurred. He didn’t kill a bystander he killed a guy that willfully got in a car with him. Sure people get harsher terms when they kill an innocent person, they are not sorry, they are repeat offenders there is a lot of variables that go into sentencing someone.

    As for the outrage, look at the source, MADD. These are the same folks that want drunk drivers sentenced to death, they want drinking to be illegal.

    Sure, drinking and driving is a crime and one ought to know that you call a cab but let’s not group this with Murder 1. This guy didn’t go into the night saying I am going to kill my friend. This was an accident pure and simple and frankly something that could happen to anyone of us on any given day.

    The message here is be responsible have a game plan. If your gonna get krunk either have a sober ride home or get a cab.

    MADD is actually a problem because they have went overboard stigmatizing being drunk, jacking the penalties so far up people are scared to make that call sometimes. Especially high profile folks. You have to worry about catching a public intoxication charge or some camera phone getting you on PFT/drunk athlete.

    If we toned down the rhetoric and preached responsibility vs. the tighten the laws, lock em up and throw away the key attitudes there would be less of this. Folks would call that cab, they would take advantage of programs some police department offer in which they go pick up potential drunk drivers and give them a ride home.

  15. Across the country people are getting light sentences for Drunk Driving Offenses. I’m far from perfect and I’m not in love with MADD but they’re spot on here. Remember when Plaxico shot himself in the leg? Somehow that was WAY worse than this, based on their sentences anyway.

  16. MADD needs to try and help educate people if they want to stop DWIs all they seem to do is condemn and pass judgment on people. What do they think would be a fair sentence ? Public hanging? Life in prison. The man made a terrible decision and lost his best friend now let him get on with his life and pick up the pieces

  17. Ok, calling all righteous & judgmental folks: his friend knowing and willfully got in the car with him! All the DUI examples you folks scream out ARE NOT the same…but you’ll continue and continue

  18. Really?

    Where were they when the teenager who killed 4 people in another car was given only probation because the court said he couldn’t be held responsible for his actions because his rich parents hadn’t taught him right from wrong?

    Maybe they need to change their name to MABDD.

  19. The rich kid suffering from “Affluenza” that killed 4 people he did not know and who weren’t stupid enough to drive with a drunk, as Brown was, got probation. At least this guy is going to jail. How is that “This punishment sends the message that it’s OK to drink and drive”? Would you want 180 days in jail? These MADD folks have lost perspective.

  20. Not to defend drunk driving in the least, but MADD is an awful organization. They’re so extreme in their crusade against drunk driving that they’re willing and even demand that any and all Constitutional rights be stomped all over in their pursuit. Unacceptable. Brent got off too light, but MADD should just shut up and go away. They’re awful.

  21. In this situation the victim’s family’s position makes a huge deal to the punishment dealt. Brent made a terrible decision that night, but keep in mind it wasn’t a direct conscious decision to kill someone.

    He will have to remain alcohol and drug free for 10 years, all the while checking in with a parole officer. Having him sit behind bars doesn’t really accomplish anything more.

  22. Like it or not people drink. If you drive on American roads especially late at night on the weekends you should know the risks involved. Don’t like it? Stay home. Make the penalties whatever you like. Make it a capitol punishment offense and people are still going to do it. Get over it.

  23. He got the average sentence for people convicted of that crime in that county. Look things up before you spout off things you don’t know about. He didn’t get any special treatment for being rich. If anything browns mother helped him more than anything.

  24. The only thing “shocking” was that Brent pleaded not guilty and mounted a defense for an indefensible crime. He should’ve manned up and accepted full responsibility for his inexcusable and reckless behavior.

  25. That’s disgusting, 180 days, how come??? Just because he has some money. Welcome to the USA
    and their nonsense with DUI’s, oh and excuse me he killed someone too. This is ridiculous.

  26. I think the Judge listened to Jerry Brown’s mother’s plea for leniency. Surely her voice is more important in this than anyone else’s, even a group as well intentioned as MADD?

  27. In the same city…a young man 16 years of age, killed four people while under the influence of alcohol. His punishment….”Probation” two weeks ago. The jury hands was tied.

  28. If he ran his car into some innocent driver passing by, then the sentence should be 10+ years. But the fact is that the person who died was a willing passenger in his drunken friends car.

  29. All of these comments, I myself would agree with but the only comment I haven’t seen which is why he probably got this light sentence was the fact that Jerry Brown’s mother, grandmother, and family has already forgiven Josh Brent right after the accident happened. Brown’s mother has said out of her own mouth these two were like brothers so she felt she had no choice but to forgive him. I’m pretty sure that played a part in the judge decision.

  30. I’m good with it. He killed his buddy and his buddies mom stood on his side. This dude will bear a lot of weight for the rest of his life, putting him in jail for 10 won’t do anybody any good. If he had killed an innocent person in another car that would be a different story.

  31. MADD is just another example of people who think they should insert themselves into other peoples business. Now you can vote at 18 or get shot in Afghanistan serving your country but you can’t legally drink a beer.

  32. “This punishment sends the message that it’s OK to drink and drive”

    No it doesn’t. Young guys out on their own are going to make huge mistakes. I don’t think sending the guy to prison for years will teach him anything he doesn’t know now. He killed his good friend. He knows that and probably has a great deal of remorse.

    10 years is a long probation and I’m sure he’s going to prison if he violates it. Maybe MADD needs to go after the alcohol industry more in these cases. As long as alcohol is still being sold tragic accidents like this will continue to happen.

  33. MADD is worse than Brent. Brent was nice enough to drive for his drunk friend. Sucked that the friend died, but that’s the game he played. MADD is insane and wants the country to be like China where cops can arest you for anything. How about going after texters. They are the real danger these days.

  34. The fact that Brown got in the car with Brent (presumably not at gunpoint) speaks to the condition BOTH men were in that night. Brent made the mistake of offering to drive. A tragic error in judgement, but hardly a reason to lock him up and throw away the key.

    Think back to your younger days and nights out with your friends. Would you want your best friend to go to prison for this?

  35. Pretty tough to get a lengthy sentence when the victim’s mother is seated in the gallery behind the defendant. The victim impact statement called for leniancy

  36. MADD started with its heart in the right place, but now it’s just a neo-prohibitionist group who is the reason we have such ridiculous alcohol laws across the country. They do not care one bit about Jerry Brown, they care about pushing their agenda forward just like any other special interest group. Shame on them for exploiting this tragedy.

  37. Just let me know one thing. How the hell is alcohol legal? 88,000 deaths contributed to alcohol each year in the USA alone. Now I see why cigarettes and guns are legal too, we want people to be erased.

  38. Not that I am defending drinking and driving but the fact that his friends mother was in his corner in court of course helped with the judges decision and its not like he killed an innocent victim that was driving home. His friend had been out with him all night and knew he had 17 drinks still not only did he allow him to drive he also got in the car with him. They both had access to the unions free ride home program and both made a really bad decision. If there ever is going to be a light sentence for a case like this i think this is a good example for it. Thwy are both adults and responsable for thier actions. This man may be alive but he has lost his life and has to live with the fact he killed his best friend so justice has already been served I think

  39. Apparently now vehicular manslaughter is OK as long as you’re drunk when you kill somebody?

    This is an OUTRAGEOUS JUDICIAL DECISION and I hope it is over ruled on appeal to a mandatory 10 years in prison and then 10 years parole.

    It is incomprehensible that any judge would allow this guy to skate because he has money. Perhaps the judge needs to be removed from the bench? This is NOT justice in any way, shape or form and it sends a terrible message to people with alcohol and drug abuse problems.

  40. well yeah if your friend got 2 years and 20 years probation still shows that brent got his sentence halved for no reason but he is a football player

  41. I have a tremendous amount of respect for MADD. They have almost singlehandedly changed attitudes about drinking and driving over the past 25 years or so.

    Calling for a stiffer sentence is fine, lots of people would agree with that. But when they come out and say that this sentence “sends a message that it’s okay to drink and drive”, it makes me think that they’ve lost their focus.

    You don’t need to resort to ridiculous hyperbole to persuade when it comes to this subject. The stories of destroyed lives speak for themselves. They should really stick to that as their message.

  42. Doesn’t really matter what the initial jail time is, he’ll do his 180 days then violate terms of his probation within 6 months of getting out..perhaps within a week after celebrating his freedom… then go back for a longer stretch.

  43. Still wont be able to get over when right after it happened he was on the sidelines smiling and enjoying the game in street clothes. That right there was an omen that he would get special treatment through this whole process.

  44. Curious why there are so many thumbs down on statements Josh Brent got off too light. Do people think it’s okay to drive drunk? Do they think it’s okay to kill someone while doing so?

    Josh Brent chose to drink. He chose to drive. He directly caused the death of another human being. And he will do six months in jail and people are okay with that?

    Imagine it wasn’t Jerry Brown who died but your son or daughter or mother or father or husband or wife? Still so quick with the thumb’s down?

  45. I guess the lesson learned here was, if you want to kill someone don’t use a gun, get drunk and use a vehicle instead.

  46. People, quit with the ‘he’s wealthy and plays in the NFL’ line. Yes, it’s a popular and convenient reason but it’s absolutely NOT true. One, Brent’s 2012 salary was $490,000. Not exactly wealthy by NFL standards. 44 tackles in 2 years is not exactly stellar either.

    But look, the meat of the matter is this-Intoxicated manslaughter, unless the person killed is an emergency worker of some sort, is actually a 2nd degree felony in Texas, with a maximum of 20 years. If the person killed is an emergency worker, it’s a 1st degree felony with a maximum of 99 years.

    Now, the state of Texas is gambling that Brent will not survive ten years on probation and will end up doing the ten years anyway. It’s a gamble as I said but my money is on Texas.

  47. I’m not really mad at the sentence. Yeah there are other people who have gotten worse for less but that’s the fault of the system and money, which is what WE have allowed to happen and can’t blame anybody for it.

    Also whoever thinks this is a slap on the wrist is very wrong. Jail is not a rehabilitation center, it makes you worse and at the end of the day his best friend also agreed to get in the car knowing he had been drinking, they were both responsible and no matter how harsh that sounds it is reality. It was not an intentional act, they both went out drinking, they both got in the car, they both didn’t wear seat belts, they were both irresponsible. Brent unfortunately has to live with that for the rest of his life too.

    Expect his name to most likely be in the news for alcoholism and/or drugs as that’s a lot of weight for an average person to deal with. It’s a pity.

  48. Just to play devils advocate a little bit, there is something to also be said about BOTH men’s bad decisions that night. Not just Josh Brent. It’s a horrible tragedy that cost Jerry his life. Taking Josh’s whole life away as well really isn’t doing anything in this case. Those type of sentences are more to help bring justice to the victims family and in this case I don’t believe the family was seeking any. Just another opinion on the matter. Horrific all the way around though.

  49. I’m always amazed at how many people choose to make snap judgements in the wake of a trial. We were not there. We did not see josh Brent, hear the evidence directly, nor hear victim impact statements. We have no basis to judge a “normal” sentence unless we know this judges track record. Josh Brent clearly has a substance abuse problem. He was very close to the victim and will have to live with that for the rest of his life.

    We gave a problem in this country of reactionary activism putting itself in the place of the system. If we are going to engage in mob rule, why have a system at all.

  50. I agree that is a joke of a sentence. But I think that Jerry Browns family has forgiven Brent for what happened that night and didn’t want a jail sentence at all. God bless his family for forgiving Josh Brent. I don’t think I would be as understanding.

  51. Try to remember he is not a criminal. He got drunk with his friend and they both got into his car and had an accident. His friend died, but there was not anything that shows he wanted to kill his friend. Of course this is something MADD would like to stop happening. So would everyone else but he still did not commit murder, he did not have intent. What would it have helped having him sit in prison longer. He should have been mandated to go talk to children at schools.

  52. Can everyone please remember that Jerry Brown willingly got into a car with a drunk behind the wheel? Stop talking about this as murder. Both of these guys were stupid. Brent was stupid to drink and drive, and Brown was stupid to ride with him knowing he was drunk. Brown paid for this stupidity with his life, which is tragic. I feel awful for his family. I also feel bad for Brent. But I’m growing weary of the talk that Brent “murdered” another human being. No, he didn’t. It was a preventable accident. That is far different than murder.

  53. There’s a “catch phrase” in this country that “it’s not perfect but, it’s the best judicial system on Earth”. That’s not true – when it works, it’s the best system in the world – and when it doesn’t work, it’s the worst system in the world. Justice is still a “pick and choose” system in this country. I’m still waiting for Jane Fonda to be arrested for the treason that she committed – of course she’s a “celebrity”, so it’s not going to happen, and the American public went along with it. Jane Fonda started making “workout” tapes some years ago – the American public, like a bunch of lemmings, bought them by the hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

    Imagine that, the public bought tapes from her on how to be healthier – of course it didn’t bother them that she committed treason or that she had a boob job, face lift and eating disorder. They just wanted to be as” healthy” as her .

    Josh Brent got way with one here.

  54. did some moron try to insinuate that Laura Bush killed somebody in a drunk driving accident? She was 17 and nobody was drunk, it was an accident. Better with your libtard sites if you want to peddle that crap.

  55. I dont agree with what he did, but i’m not a judge either. The lawyer in his case said that there are 35 other people in Dallas County that also got only probation for the same charge. So this isnt any “favor” to a “rich” nfl player. It’s just that we see him getting probation and think that.

    I drink, but i’m smart enough to either call a cab or have a sober friend drive me, and it’s a decision that Josh Brent should have made.

    As far as i’m concerned, if Brown’s family is ok with the sentence, then the sentence is fair. I do think it should have been more harsh, but that’s just my opinion.

  56. Donte Stallworth got only 30 days from Florida.

    I wonder how each of us would feel if it was our loved one who was killed.

    I lost an older brother when a dragster, on a NHRA sanctioned dragstrip, couldn’t stop, flew off the end of the track, took out a cyclone fence and a light pole, and landed on my brother sitting in his car….driving PAST the dragstrip. No alcohol or drugs involved, but I still grieve for him 50 years (April 12th) later.

    The Brown family may have forgiven Brent but, it still was a human life snuffed out, and they are grieving. So, please be respectful about your comments. RIP

  57. Most people in the Dallas area facing the same charge as Brent get the same sentence assuming this is their first DUI offense. The people claiming otherwise do not know what they’re talking about. All you have to do is Google typical Texas sentence for vehicular manslaughter. It’s either laziness or ignorance to claim Brent got a lighter sentence than the average person because he is an athlete when a 5 minute Google search shows otherwise.

  58. I respect MADD but im okay with this sentence, mostly because the Guy that he “slaughtered” knew he was getting into a car with a highly intoxicated man. Thats why even his mother forgave the man. She knew it could have easily been the other way around

  59. For all the folks saying things like “he’s a football player”, “he’s rich”, “normal people would’ve gotten 10 years”, etc give me a break. You DO realize that 34 “normal people” who don’t “play in the NFL” and aren’t “rich” in Dallas County alone are on probation with no jail time at all for the same crime right?

    The reality is that, sadly, this does happen and juries have to decide the fate of these folks over and over again. Often then get less than Brent got. And let’s not fool ourselves – in 6 months when he’s out of jail and IF he decides to return to the NFL – he is retired by the way so he doesn’t “play football” anymore – he’ll likely get a 1 year suspension from the NFL. So in all, that’ll be 3 years or so away from your profession, 6 months in jail, living with the fact you killed your best friend for life and 10 years probation. Every one has to decide for themselves if they think that is a “slap on the wrist” and a “joke of a justice system”. Remember that the victims mother testified in court for leniency and ask yourself if your lust to fry him outweighs hers….

  60. He already has a life sentence, he was responsible for contributing to the death of his friend.

    Now if he goes out drinking and driving ever again, he is done. In the meantime, hopefully he can help others with his story and service to his community.Nobody needs another Leonard little.

  61. I’d like to say this. Brent and his really, really good friend went out. Both grown men who are really really good friends drank an abundance of alcohol. Both men who are really really good friends got in a car together. There was an accident and one of the really really good friends perished.

    The mother of the one really really good friend who perished begged the court for leniency during sentencing because she forgives him. Did you hear, the mother of the deceased forgives the friend (really really good frien) of her son.

    How can we punish this man more then the pain and suffering he is going to endor the rest of his life? He killed his best friend!!

    Now he can help people maybe learn how not to get behind the wheel after they have been drinking

  62. Ten years of mandatory appearances giving speeches about DUI. Jail time is vindictive and serves no constructive purpose.
    No driving for two years and if he does, then jail time makes sense.

  63. He showed remorse, lost his best friend and I don’t believe he will ever get behind the wheel drunk again. That being said 2 years would have been a more fitting sentence considering another man is dead.

  64. Brent’s conviction from his first DUI made a real impression on him. That’s why he got behind the wheel after having 17 drinks and killed someone. Yes, his teammate willingly got in a car with an impaired driver. But ultimately, this falls on Brent…because HE was driving. What a douche. It’s hard to believe that he got such a light sentence, despite the fact it was his second DUI and he killed someone this time. Personally, I believe a second DUI should automatically trigger a ten year sentence. Mandatory sentencing is the only way to ensure equal justice, no matter how rich someone is. A third DUI should get a 20 year sentence. And I don’t think the victim’s family’s forgiveness should factor in at all. Brent is a two time offender (that we know of) and is an obvious danger to society. If (when) Brent drives drunk again, I hope he kills himself instead of anyone else.

  65. Ironically (given the name Mothers Against Drunk Driving), the mother of the victim played a large part in Brent’s leniency.

    I lost someone very important to me to a drunk driver. The man was a deadbeat and horribly drunk the day he did the deed, and he didn’t get anything close to the max sentence either. In fact, he tried to pin the accident on the victim (in spite of overwhelming witness evidence to the contrary) and showed no remorse whatsoever. Yet he got the same kind of sentence that many of you think Brent should have received.

    Max sentences are for people with longer criminal histories. As many have said, a major goal of sentences should be rehabilitation. Any real jail time will have an impact; extended jail time offers far reduced benefits.

    Do you all think Brent should have gotten the same kind of sentence as the piece of garbage I described above did? I hate drunk driving, but I don’t think he should have gotten a similar sentence. That won’t help the problem.

  66. The sentence does seem light to me, but it varies by state and jurisdiction along with judge’s discretion.

    The real problem I have with it is that Brent never took responsibility for his actions that night. He has never admitted that he had even been drinking, with his attorney trying to claim that his champagne bottles were filled with water! His BAC was blood tested at .189, but he claims the test was faulty. And even Florio is pushing the notion of an appeal based on a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that says mandatory blood tests may be unconstitutional in many cases without a warrant. So he’s guilty, but still may get off on a technicality on appeal. No responsibility admitted should not equal a lenient sentence.

  67. Texas should be ashamed, first a teenage kid kills 4 people while driving drunk and get no jail time at all and just a few months later Josh Brent who should no better gets a slap on the wrist. I’d be afraid to drive in Texas.

  68. “This punishment sends the message that it’s OK to drink and drive”

    I respect MADDs effort, but that has to be the absolutely most stupid statement they could have made.

    “Sure, buddy. It’s perfectly OK to drink and drive. All you have to do is pay me $10,000, and spend 6 months cozied up to Bubba in an 8 by 8 cell. Here, I’ll buy the first round.”

    Yeah, 10 years probation, a $10,000 fine and 6 months in jail sure sounds like “it’s OK to drink and drive” to me.

    MADD, you lose credibility with stupid statements like that.

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