Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lionel Hutz for the Defense...

"We're very confident that there was no intent to harm anyone."

That is the preposterous to the point of hysterical position of the attorney for former Ohio State runningback Maurice Clarett at his arraignment. Hmm, let's review why Clarett was standing before a judge in the first place...

First of all, Clarett was already out on bail, facing armed robbery charges.

The other night, Clarett led police on a high-speed chase where they needed to use spike strips to flatten his tires to stop him. He was wearing a bulletproof vest and had four loaded guns and a hatchet in his SUV. He needed to be tasered, and maced in order to be subdued by six cops and was caught within blocks of the home of the key witness set to testify in his robbery trial next week.

I'm sure he was just out for drive...

In the understatement of the year, prosecutors seeking the high bail said, "We feel he's a threat to the community."

Clarett's attorney argued "that amount would likely be too high for Clarett to pay, meaning he would stay in jail for the duration of the robbery trial."

I'd say that's probably a good idea. Not a good year to be an football player in Ohio...

UPDATE: via The Mighty MJD, here is a fascinating column by ESPN's Tom Friend on a phone convesation he had with Clarett hours before his arrest.

Also, unrelated, be sure to read this tremendous essay by MJD on a moral quandry in Little League.


Thrillhous said...

The way our politicians can lie to us with a straight face ain't so surprising when you realize most of them are/were lawyers. Any man who could make that defense for Clarett without giggling deserves an Oscar.

I heard on ESPN that the FBI is tracing the origins of his guns, which included an assault rifle. If he's hit with federal charges, he could go away for a very, very long time.

S.W. Anderson said...

Yes, unfortunately defense lawyers seem to be totally focused on what their client wants. What other people and the community need don't make it onto their list of concerns.

Clarett fairly well diagnosed himself. He's got low self-esteem, and yet repeatedly does things he knows are wrong and will end up driving his self-esteem lower.

Give him credit for being intelligent and perceptive. Sounds like he's done some soul searching and has been somewhat honest with himself, too.

Clarett's a perfect example of someone who desperately needs professional help, and has needed it for some time. Think alcohol-fueled clinical depression, a deadly dangerous combination. Sufferers drink to ease their pain. They mess up, causing more pain and more drinking. A couple of drinks makes them feel better, but they can't stop at that. Past two drinks, alcohol is actually a depressant — last thing a messed up, depressed person needs. It's a vicious cycle.

Is prison what he needs most? Not really, but that's probably what he's going to get. Think kicking the can down the road, because someday he's going to get back out. Then, he may be even more messed up and lost for what to do with himself than he is now.

Tragic for Clarett and for us all, really. Especially when you consider how many there are just like him.

Mr Furious said...

I'll confess to not having followed this kid too closely. He's had a lot of trouble in a short amount of time, and clearly has some issues. He is clearly a danger to himself and others.

Is prison really going to help him. No. He really needs some serious psychiatric care. I wish I knew a way to be sure he'd get the help he needs, but in the meantime, or absence of that help, he needs to be off the streets.

Mike said...

Fact is, dozens of poor kids from fucked up backgrounds fall through the cracks every day, and no one takes notice.

Even those of us (me included) who care or profess to care.

But when one of those unfortunates is an athlete, and he's got tons of money & the press follows him . . . well, there you go.

It's sad, but no more than with many, many others.

S.W. Anderson said...

I heard recently on Al Franken's show that an Iraqi government official (ex-govt. official now) recently made off with a billion of our our hard-earned tax dollars. Just took the money and disappeared. (I think this was when Franken interviewed the author of "Fiasco.")

Imagine if that money would've gone instead to basic research into causes of and cures for alchohol-fueled clinical depression, depression and drug abuse, etc.

S.W. Anderson said...

Mr. F. and all, while I feel compassion for Clarett and others trapped in their nightmarish situation, I don't favor just writing off serious wrongdoing and letting them walk.

I've long believed there's little sense spending $500 billion to $800 billion a year for defense from external enemies, and putting a lot of soldiers on the job, if we're going to turn around and let crazies and criminals have their way with us here at home.

It's just that in some cases more and better is needed than just a prison term. Think of it as compassion, OK, but it's also enlightened public interest.

Punchy said...

MF, you live in A-squared. I imagine that's where you went to skool (my sympathies...:0). I, too, attended a B10 uni. This kind of Clarett-gets-everything shit has been going on for YEARS. Entitlement City. Car...check. Money...check. Girls...check twice.

And then to have that all pulled out from fast...after being convinced he'd be a millionare...its no wonder he went crazy. It's like having the winning lottery ticket and then losing it...doing anything to find it again.

Clarett's a lost cause. Too much hype, too fast. He's now a complete thug, and Columbus has every right to think he's a menace to society.

Otto Man said...

Clarett needs some serious help, stat.