Double Standards? Ray Rice vs. Shannen Allen in New Jersey

St. Pete domestic violence attorney.jpg By now this has been the lead story on almost every news cast. We have included a video from CNN that does not show the battery. A copy of that video can be found here. While it is not bloody, it can be disturbing for certain viewers…

As has been previously mentioned, star running back Ray Rice has been suspended indefinitely from the NFL and has been cut from the Baltimore Ravens last Monday. This turn of events occurred only after a new video surfaced showing the football star brutally knocking out his fiancee, now wife in a hotel elevator.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had originally suspended Rice two games for his actions involving the domestic violence. This drew harsh criticism from many people who noted that the NFL was giving out four game suspensions for first-time illegal drug users. Goodell claimed the light sentence was given when he only had access to an earlier video which did not show the actual assault. Rather it showed Rice dragging his unconscious girlfriend out of the elevator.

Back in July, Rice had admitted wrongdoing and he and his wife were in counseling. After this latest suspension, the 27-year-old man may be out of options. Any NFL team that signs him will need the commissioner’s approval to proceed. In addition, the Canadian Football League is not allowed to sign him as long as he is suspended by the NFL.

Rice had previously been given probation by a New Jersey judge after a deal was worked out with the prosecutor. This too has come under intense criticism by many for both the supposed leniency as well as the same judge/prosecutor are now involved in a controversial firearm case.
pinellas firearm defense.jpg

In that New Jersey case, a Pennslyvania woman was pulled over in New Jersey. She let the officer know that she had a firearm in her car and that she had a valid firearm permit from her state. Unfortunately for her, New Jersey does not recognize these permits and she was arrested. Despite previous cases of people being offered a diversion program for the same offense, New Jersey prosecutor Jim McClain is refusing to budge. His last offer to the woman, Shaneen Allen, a professional with two children, was 3.5 years prison!

The fact that this prosecutor and Judge Michael Donio consider a brutal domestic battery less of a concern then legal firearm ownership by a military vet and mother has outraged many people.

Is there a double standard? Ray Rice was famous and given a slap on the wrist for his brutal battery. Meanwhile the exact same judge and prosecutor who excused domestic violence appear almost giddy in their attempts to imprison a woman with no criminal record for a mistake.

One thing for certain, there are no winners in either case. The NFL looks soft on crime and the Baltimore Ravens took heat for both their support of Ray Rice and their tweet from Rice’s wife in which it appeared she blamed herself for the incident.

As far as the firearm case, the New Jersey justice system looks weak but especially the judge and the state attorney’s office. Many articles have been written nationally including in USA Today, and local papers.

The one possible bright spot in all this mess is that domestic violence victims are getting increased attention. The old question of “why didn’t (the victim) just walk away?” has been getting answered and the country as a whole has heard about both tragedies now. With increased awareness will hopefully come increased domestic violence education and perhaps a push for more fairness in prosecution for both innocent victims and even the accused.

Have you or a loved one been arrested for domestic violence or a firearm offense? Then call the Clearwater criminal defense lawyers of Blake & Dorsten, P.A. today! These former prosecutors are experienced trial attorneys.

The lawyers of Blake & Dorsten, P.A. handle all criminal and personal injury cases along the Gulf Coast including St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa Bay, Bradenton, Sarasota, Largo, Seminole, Safety Harbor, Dade City, St. Pete Beach and Feathersound.

To speak directly to your Pinellas County criminal defense lawyer, click on the contact button or call them at 727.286.6141. Blake & Dorsten, P.A…when your case matters!

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