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.