Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Those of you who know me know that I have strongly considered a career in law, as an attorney or as judge, and as a result, I did an internship with the Federal District Court last summer in Columbus. I worked in Pretrial Services, a department that investigates whether recently arrested people should be released or incarcerated in the days, weeks, or months leading up to their trials (or many times, plea bargains).

I learned two important things about the criminal justice system: 1.) Much of the law and the fates of people who have broken it rests in the subjective hands of judges, and 2.) Some people just cannot stop breaking the law. For whatever reason, they cannot stay out of trouble, and seemingly no one can rehabilitate them; they simply need to sit in jail.

Maurice Clarett is one of those people.

I really thought we all had heard the last of Clarett when he robbed two people outside of the Opium Lounge on New Year's Eve. I thought, "Well, he's really screwed up this time. He'll be behind bars for a long time, and his career is over."

Had he come before a federal judge and had my department investigated him, we probably would have recommended that he be detained pending the outcome of his case. The Franklin County judge in his case, however, allowed Clarett to post bail, so she released him until the time of his trial. Like a tailback squirming through the zero hole of the line of scrimmage, Clarett has used this opportunity to break more laws.

Yesterday, Clarett was arrested on the east side of Columbus for having guns in his car and for making a u-turn. In what could be a sign of gang activity, Clarett was driving around wearing a bulletproof vest, which made police tasers ineffective against him. They had to mace him to subdue him.

Finally, FINALLY, Clarett is going to be off the streets.

At the time of the robbery, I considered Clarett's demise as the saddest personal debauchle among athletes I had ever seen. In a way, I sympathized with him because I sensed he had little control over his actions.

But now, I don't view Maurice Clarett the amazing athelete who is now a tragic, fallen hero (and I use the word "hero" in the literary, Aristotlean way.) I also don't view him as the moronic schmuck like most do. I view him as a criminal.

He's robbed someone. He drives like a maniac. He carries guns illegally. It appears he has no regard for the safety of others.

I hate to judge others because everyone makes mistakes. But most good, stable people learn from their mistakes. Clarett does not.

Maurice Clarett used to be a danger to defenses. Now, he is flat out a danger to the community. Lock him up.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home