Monday, September 8, 2014

Roger Goodell's NFL and the Ravens' Miscarriage of Justice.


This is not a plaidorie for the devil or like they often say, “Being the devil’s advocate” because there is no devil here. I am just afraid that we are becoming very rancorous and spiteful as a society. We have left the Mosaic Era, yet we enjoy lex telionis. We are becoming specialists of deformation rather than reformation. It is beyond any debate that Ray Rice did a very bad thing in beating up his wife. He brought shame to himself and his family! The manner thereof is inconsequential because whether it was brutal or lightly, he should not have done it. It is an unacceptable behavior. ‎However, the NFL's and Raven's decisions are legally, socially and morally untenable. Legally, it will be breaking the double jeopardy, sociologically, the NFL overburdens Ray Rice' s family to function as a family because he will need to feed the very wife they are seeking to protect, and morally, once forgiven, you are free indeed!

I know that those of you who know me will say that we disagree with “this your thing of saying that we should let it go.” This time though, I want us to look at it as a society and see if we are treating each other fairly. Do unto others what you want them do unto you. Ray Rice is being unfairly treated here! Ray Rice had already been punished with a two game suspension. By suspending him a second time, the NFL and Ravens are violating the Double Jeopardy Rule. It is defined as, “The act of prosecuting a defendant a second time for an offense for which he has already been tried.”[1] At the same time, it is a violation of his Fifth Amendment Right. 

The government did not charge him; they assigned some form of community labor. That is not his problem; it is the burden the society has to bear for rashness! It is like a county sending you a letter that your traffic ticket was not well adjudicated because when they decided the first time, they did not have all the information. Take time and read well the Double Jeopardy rule and the 5 policies that underpin it. Double jeopardy extends to every spectrum of crime and punishment. 

Isn't Ray Rice supposed to cater for his wife? How is he going to do that if you stop him from doing what he does best? Whether they saw it or not is immaterial. If they did not see it, then due process was violated because it will mean that they judged him on hearsay. Secondly, he has already served the sentence. They should blame themselves for the imprudence. They should have done a thorough investigation before disciplining him if they were really serious because only part of the video was shown to the public initially. It is not like there were two videos. It is one and the same video that they edited. Rice will be covered by Double Jeopardy rule and the extreme hardship law. His wife could turn and sue the NFL and Ravens for causing her the hardship too. Morally, once forgiven, you are forgiven. If your sins are paid for, they are paid. Remember, we are not discussing on the gravity of the offense because every normal human being knows it is despicable.

Goodell’s argument that they were not privy to the facts when they disciplined him the first time is still no excuse because they should have then waited until they had all the facts. They should not punish Ray Rice for their recklessness. The Bible says, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him (Prov 18:13).”It is late now to change their decision. They should have done that before in their first decision. I don't understand their rashness. Someone beats his wife and you give him only two games suspension; whether you see the video or not? He should have been suspended for two years initially! I was against the 2 games suspension. However, after he served it, it is immoral to bring another suspension or decision for the same offense. The man served his time, so he should be left alone. I don't even like the Ravens and his behavior, but I am looking at the concept of equity. It is the noble thing to do to bring him back. I hate it when hypocrites who do other more egregious things raise their voices so loud to condemn others. The young man made a mistake, and he paid the price. Unfortunately, people still want to destroy him. We should be a society that reforms and not one that deforms. I said earlier that the decisions from NFL and The Ravens will overburden the Rice family. His wife's interjection ascertains that.


Secondly, the jurisprudence on criminal law is founded on due process. You cannot pass judgment on anyone without due process. If they did not see the video, then they also violated the woman’s rights. It is inconceivable that the same question that was asked in the first century is the same we are trying to answer in the 21st century. Nicodemus asked the Sanhedrin, “Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth (Jn 7:51)?” Now I ask you, “Does our law judge a man before hearing from him and know what he did?" The NFL should blame itself for the thoughtlessness. It should have done proper investigation before punishing him. More so, the law is not retroactive.  

 Sociologically, there are no diminished expectations when Ray Rice married his then fiancĂ©e. If she felt that she was in danger, she would not have married him. By sacking and suspending him indefinitely, they fail to uphold the uberrima fides of the marriage. This will cause them hardship and even extreme hardship because he will not be able to provide for his wife again. Thus the theory of extreme hardship is not a matter of expediency. Matter of Gutierrez-Lopez, 21 I&N Dec. 479 (BIA 1996).
After all “Any hardship to a qualifying spouse must always be considered. See Watkins v. INS, 63 F.3d 844 (9th Cir. 1995). The extreme hardship Ray Rice will undergo is not related to the income of the wife because she makes very little money to maintain the lifestyle that the Husband has accustomed her. His suspension defeats the purpose of marriage and puts asunder what God has joined together; thereby, depriving Ray Rice of the opportunity and freedom to enjoy his marriage. This will even be a violation of his 14th Amendment.

The doctrine of extreme hardship does not end with financial hardships. It encompasses anything that will inflict pain and suffering on the spouse or the respondent. “In short, as we have often stated, extreme hardship is not a definable term of fixed and inflexible meaning, and the elements to establish extreme hardship are dependent upon the facts and circumstances of each case.”
In the Matter of Hwang, 10 I&N Dec. 448, 45 1 (BIA 1964), it was asserted that  Extreme hardship is "not a definable term of fixed and inflexible content or meaning," but "necessarily depends upon the facts and circumstances peculiar to each case." The peculiarity is that Ray Rice needs this job to feed his wife because he knows only how to play football as his numbers speak for themselves.You may like to read from his wife endorsing the theory of extreme hardship
Morally: the decision is ungodly. Even when the people caught the woman in flagrant adultery, Jesus still let her go. Ray Rice has even paid his debt with his suspension. Those who think that they are without fault should seek to reform and not to deform, to restore and not to destroy. Many people advocating for Ray Rice’s pound of flesh may have spilled more blood than him. It is not a time to destroy the young man; it is a time to build him up to a better person.

Behold the source of the devilry, the society! We start by having the right priorities. I don't understand why entertainers earn more than teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers etc. As much as I hate the pedestal that the society has placed these entertainers, the onus is still not with them. Worst still, Ray Rice is playing for a team I don't even like, but that will be injustice to make him pay twice for the same offense. I have to separate my personal bias from equity. Ray is not special, so you should not think that his football abilities are at play here. Let us remove the name of Ray Rice and use Mr. Nobody. Mr. Nobody did a terrible thing beating his wife. We all agree. His employers decided that it merited a two day work suspension. We all say, "nay, that is too lenient," yet they did not revise it. He served his time and went back to work. Then a harridan shows up in the market with a video of the same incident where Mr. Nobody was beating his wife. The company cannot come back to change their initial decision. That is what I am saying.

Therefore, I urge the NFL and the Ravens to reinstate him because he will be suffering twice for a crime he has already paid the price. In addition, the wife is the loser here than him. They should write down a clear policy with domestic abuse.

Until then, I strongly condemn NFL's and Raven’s decisions.

St Arrey of Ntenako




[1] "Double+jeopardy." The Free Dictionary. Farlex, n.d. Web. 08 Sept. 2014.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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