New Jersey Senator wants review of Ray Rice prosecution

AP

Lost in the failure of the NFL and the Ravens to get the Ray Rice video before Monday is the failure of the New Jersey prosecutors, who had the video, to push for an outcome more serious than a diversionary program.

One New Jersey lawmaker wants to get to the bottom of that specific issue.  According to A.J. Perez of NJ.com, Senate President Steve Sweeney called on the state’s Attorney General to investigate the prosecution of Ray Rice.

“This video and the violence it shows is extremely disturbing,” Sweeney said in a statement.  “It is a vivid reminder that domestic violence is a serious problem that can’t be ignored and shouldn’t be treated lightly.  That is why I am asking Acting Attorney General John Hoffman to review the decision-making process that allowed for pretrial intervention and to look at the law itself to see if it should be rewritten or revised.”

Deals often are struck because prosecutors fear that they don’t have enough evidence to secure a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.    But it would require something more than an ill-fitting glove to secure an acquittal, based on that video.

“Let’s assume for the sake of argument, rather than enter into the pretrial diversionary program that [Rice] entered into, we hypothetically move forward on the case,” his lawyer, Michael Diamondstein, told a Baltimore radio station regarding the decision to enter into a diversionary program.  “And hypothetically we litigate 100 motions and the video comes out and the video shows — hypothetically speaking now, hypothetically speaking — shows that Ray wasn’t the first person that hit and Ray was getting repeatedly hit but just Ray hit harder, fired one back and hit harder.  Hypothetically speaking, and he gets found not guilty.  Is that result somehow better?  Is it better for the public?  Is it better for the Ravens?  Is it better for Ray?  Is it better for Janay?”

The decision to allow Rice to enter into a diversionary program, based on the video, may not have been better for the citizens of New Jersey.  The question now becomes whether the State of New Jersey will take action against the prosecutor who opted not to pursue what, based on the video, may have been an open and shut case.

47 responses to “New Jersey Senator wants review of Ray Rice prosecution

  1. Sweeney is a NJ politician…. Here in New Jersey, we’ve got the best politicians money can buy!

  2. It’s about time the heat in this Ray Rice saga turns to judge Michael Donio and DA Jim McClain, given the presence of video, even if the victim doesn’t cooperate, unfortunately common in domestic violence, they could have gone after Rice much more strongly than they did.

  3. The same prosecutor is throwing the book at a 27 year old single mom of 2 for carrying a Pennsylvania permitted gun into NJ. The prosecutor wants to make an example of this woman who did nothing violent, was a first time offender, exercising a constitutional right, and volunteered her weapon.

    This prosecutor has no sense.

  4. Is it wrong to hit a woman?
    My answer is yes.
    But, there are women who hit harder than most men. (Still, I think it’s wrong to hit a woman)
    Did TMZ release a fair account of the video?
    Yes, they did.
    Ray Rice backed up from her lunge. Hitting her was wrong.
    Reactionary? Maybe, she ultimately didn’t deserve it.
    I wonder if this tizzy of love resulted from two gay people; how the outcome would’ve been?
    My opinion, no outcome. BECAUSE in science, two negatives naturally cannot be productive.
    Legion of BOOM.

  5. This whole thing is ridiculous. If Rice’s fiance doesn’t file charges then no prosecutor should waste time and tax payer dollars on such a silly case. This is a personal matter. This is not a crime unless the victim presses charges. I think tax payer would be better served investigating the politicians in N.J. Now there’s a rats nest of criminals.

  6. Self defense or not, Rice isn’t an average Joe. Rice strengthens and conditions to power thru some of the biggest humans around. The average Joe does not. Janay isn’t one of the biggest humans around, he is lucky he didn’t seriously hurt her physically.

  7. This has been my issue throughout this whole mess,that the State of NJ gave him a slap on the wrist and we know they saw the video….

    That being said I feel for the next guy that gets charged in NJ,he might get 20yrs……..

  8. It’s appauling that in the year 2014 you can knock someone out and drag their lifeless body around like they are worthless, all on video mind you, and the only trouble you get in is being sent to a diversionary program?

    But this is the world we live in, different rules for everyone. It doesnt matter what the laws are, all that matters is how much money you have. The judicial system has become sickening. There are stories like this all the time, it’s hard not to believe that the entire juducial system isn’t complety corrupt at this point.

    I’m just the avg person, and if i did what Rice did or what Irsay did, i’d 100% go to jail. There is no doubt about it, and it would be well deserved. I guess when you are rich you no longer have to follow the rules of society.

  9. It’s appropriate for the NFL to impose harsher punishment after seeing the tape; the NFL is a private enterprise. But as a rule, when victims refuse to cooperate, domestic-violence cases aren’t prosecuted. This case has already been adjudicated. We may not agree with the decision to send Rice to a pre-trial diversion program, but it’s the court’s responsibility to act on behalf of the victim. If she doesn’t want the case re-opened, then it shouldn’t be re-opened simply to satisfy public bloodlust or to accommodate a political grandstander.

  10. First, let’s establish, what Rice did was horrible. But, it’s obvious he is now the Poster Boy for Domestic Abuse. He will pay for the sins of ALL men who have ever hit a woman.

    The kid’s never playing in the NFL again.

  11. Due process as Smith was alleging. Except, you get law enforcement to investigate first, prosecute, then kickstart the NFL conduct policy. Had they done this, the outcome would have been different.

    Instead, pro athlete privilege got in the way. The cops pulled back or did not get involved at all, the prosecutors did not get involved, and the commissioner was put in a position to adjudicate on a difficult case.

    So yeah, they need to review and they need to prosecute all criminal activities with these players as warranted. Instead, it was left to Goodell now we see the outcome.

  12. OK enough is enough. Just like you guys Hate when players get special treatment, you can’t try to ruin a man because he’s an NFL player either. He wouldn’t say this if it was an average Joe so don’t do it because Ray Rice is a football player. Joe blow would just go through the legal process so let ray rice do the same. This is getting ridiculous. You can’t straddle the fence. If you’re really against domestic violence, then have every domestic violence case in New Jersey reviewed

  13. If you watch the ENTIRE VIDEO CAREFULLY* it is clear that Janae hit Rice first.

    That causes problems with prosecution.

    *The entire video starts in the Hallway not the elevator

  14. Domestic violence is wrong regardless. Him being better conditioned then all of us here has absolutely Zero do with with anything. Wrong is wrong. You are all losing focus on the true issue. you all sound like you don’t care about women that suffer from domestic violence, you care about getting as many thumbs up as possible.

  15. The victim does not need to press charges. The prosecutor’s office proceeds based on the evidence. Many victims of abuse, rape etc…do not want to press charges. They may or may not choose to testify later; however’ it is not a victim’s decision to move forward with a case.

  16. What Ray Rice did was wrong.

    In a crime parallel to Ray Rice’s, the NFL has jumped the gun, back pedaled, redacted it’s own rules, then redacted them a second time.

    I think the Ray Rice incident should not be the only thing under the microscope. I actually think it should be pushed to the side a little bit.

    The entire way the NFL deals with violent crime should be scrutinized. The history of punishments and lack of, should be scrutinized. The fact that they’ve let violent offenders basically off the hook while they persecute non violent drug offenders should be scrutinized.

    THIS IS ALL A RESULT OF THE CULTURE THAT THE LEAGUE THEMSELVES MANIFESTED.

    When you allow players the opportunity to catch felonies, and still pay them millions, the next guy is going to have a frame of mind that makes him to think he will be able to do the same.

  17. It’s about time somebody looked at the real answer for justice. It is not and should not be the NFL’s responsibility to mete out justice. They choose to do it because of PR and money. It is not their social responsibility. The NFL is entertainment. Quit blaming Goodell, Harbaugh, and the NFL and point the finger where it belongs. At Ray Rice and the Jersey prosecutor.

  18. out here if somebody gets a mark on them the other somebody automatically goes to jail regardless if the other person files charges or not. no exceptions

  19. Reminds me of how Arlon Specter, the Ultra Moron Senator from PA, got his political mileage out of saber rattling against the NFL’s anti-trust status over the stupid breaking of a new video tape rule. Do any of these guys actually ever focus on their own jobs?

  20. Someone just needs to inform the Attorney General that those “Get out of Jail Free” cards aren’t actually valid in the REAL Atlantic City – just the Monopoly version.

  21. The Rices live a couple states away and were simply tourists in Atlantic City. Rice has no prior record and his wife didn’t want to file charges. So the prosecutors gave an easy plea bargain to get the case off their desk and pump up their conviction record. It’s standard assembly line justice and only came to public attention due to the fame of the defendant. The prosecutors might have been stricter if the Rices lived locally or he was a repeat customer.

  22. “This is not a crime unless the victim presses charges.”

    I don’t know if the internet gives out awards to people for dumb statements, but if so, I’m definitely nominating you.

  23. Rice’s lawyer’s comments were about the most disgusting I have ever read. “Ray fires back?” What is this Sugar Ray Leonard against hitman Hearns? Ray has 80 pounds on her, is a pro athlete amd is supposedly a MAN. What happens if he just bear hugs her and stops the violence? I hope a really big guy smacks Ray’s lawyer in the head and knocks him out. Or his daughter. Let’s see how he feels about that. Yes, society is better off if Ray goes to trial, and guess what??? He gets CONVICTED and DOES TIME because this is not Iran. With a lawyer that stupid, maybe Ray gets a life sentence.

    Most guys have been hit by a girl or two. If there’s fire in the relationship, it happens. That girl could flat out bust Ray Rice in the face 10 times as hard as she could, and not leave a mark on him. Hitting back is never an option. If a 6 year old kid punches his Dad in the knee, does that give a grown man the right to knock him out? Evidently Ray’s lawyer thinks so. That Dad goes straight to jail. Is it because she is a black woman, or just a woman that we are supposed to say it’s OK for him to “defend” himself? Why did he even get in the elevator with her if he was so scared?

    Watch the last episode of Ray Donovam and what the lead does when his cheating, hectoring wife smacks him around. He does what any real man does, takes it and uses words and actions to react, not fists. If Ray Rice gave his daughter’s mother brain damage, what then?

    His lawyer should be disbarred or forced to represent battered women for five years. Pig.

  24. 60060, assault and battery is a crime, all the police need is probably cause to make an arrest. Bill……………I think we all smell a cover up.

  25. Actions clearly wrong and indefensible.

    But video seemed a lot more like a reaction v. a premeditated, and more importantly CONTINUED action.

    We’ll find out there’s plenty of bad guys out there who’ve done much worse than that, and got off way less easier. Need some perspective here. Donte Stallworth anyone?

  26. Why are you saying hypothetically? That’s EXACTLY what the video shows. Oh, I guess because then everyone can’t be outraged…

    Okay, back to women do no wrong and rice viciously attacked a woman that was minding her business.

  27. Steve Sweeney is the NJ version of Chuck Schumer. Spin any situation into shameless pandering for votes. Jackass.

  28. This whole thing is ridiculous. If Rice’s fiance doesn’t file charges then no prosecutor should waste time and tax payer dollars on such a silly case. This is a personal matter. This is not a crime unless the victim presses charges. I think tax payer would be better served investigating the politicians in N.J. Now there’s a rats nest of criminals

    Apparently you don’t understand battered women syndrome. That’s one of the problems. Women often won’t press charges.

    Let’s say he hit her and she went into a coma. He wins the woman beat down lottery. Or if her head injury gave her amnesia.

    Rice should be in jail. Goodell, the DA and the judge should all be out.

  29. If a dude gets into it with another random dude in that casino and knocks him out on camera, he’s getting charged with assault, regardless of whether or not the other guy presses charges, but it’s apparently okay to knock out a tiny woman that’s arguing with you, you’ll just go to a diversion program.

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