Rae Carruth’s early release shows the imbalance in the criminal justice system

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Rae Carruth’s early release shows the imbalance in the criminal justice system

Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Observer

Hailey Deitelbaum, Staff Reporter

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Rae Carruth, a former Carolina Panther, was released from prison after serving just 17 years for conspiracy to commit the murder of Cherica Adams, his pregnant girlfriend.

In 1999, Adams, girlfriend of Rae Carruth, was shot 4 times in her car. Adams was pregnant at the times. A month later, the baby was born prematurely with several birth defects and, sadly, soon after Adams passed.

Two years later, Carruth was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, meaning he hired the gunmen that shot Adams. He was sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison. Fast forward to 2018, only 17 years later, Carruth was freed, meaning he did not even serve the minimum amount of years that he was sentenced to.

Let that sink in. Only 17 years for leaving parents without their precious daughter, and a son, who has to now live with many disabilities, without his mother.

This case piles on to all of the other cases in which the justice system has let professional athletes off the hook.

Michael Vick, also a former NFL player, was let off easily. In 2007, after many months of lying, Vick plead guilty to being the owner of a dogfighting operation that left many dogs injured and dead. He even admitted to hanging and drowning dogs who did not perform the way he wanted them to during fights.

Of course Vick was sentenced to jail time. However after 18 short months, he was released.

Unfortunately, the justice system favors more than just the NFL.

Mike Tyson, heavyweight boxing champion, saw some pretty favorable jail time as well. Tyson was convicted of rape in 1992 and sentenced to 6 years. In 1995 he was released. Just 3 years for violating someone innocent, leaving her terrified forever.

Jayson Williams, an All-Star NBA player, saw time in jail too. In 2010, Williams was tried for aggravated assault. During his trial, he was charged with a DWI, his BAC level was twice the amount of he was it was supposed to be. And the year before, he was involved in a bar fight.

Once Williams was found guilty, he was sentenced to 5 years with eligibility for parole after 18 months. He spent just 27 months behind bars and then was released back to the world.

The list can go on for pages with athletes of all sports, genders, ages, and races. And even worse, as the days go on, the list  gets bigger.

There is no place in the Constitution that separates an athlete from any other citizen. So why are they treated differently when it comes to the justice system? There really is no logical answer.

So what that they are role models to the youth. I wouldn’t want my kid looking up to someone who breaks the law.

So what that they bring in millions of dollars and fans. Let the fans cheer on people who actually deserve to be cheered on.

So what they represent our country. Our country stands for freedom and equality. Therefore, they should represent equality in serving jail time when they are convicted of a crime.

Bethany P. Withers, a writer for the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law, posed a question in an article she wrote for the New York Times that focused on professional athletes and the justice system.

“Are we really so starstruck that we have to forgive and forget violent criminal behavior that would be condemned in any other context?”

Maybe we’re the ones being too naive. Ultimately, none of us are taking a stand. We sit back and watch all of these things happen without standing up to them. We watch these things happen and think that they’re the ones with a high social status so we do not matter. Everyone matters. Everyone should be treated equally. Everyone should pay their fair share. It is time to take a stand against these overlooked professional players.


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