1. If you shoot yourself in the leg with your own unlicensed gun, that should be punishment enough.
  2. Burress is charged with two counts of illegal weapon possession.  I am tickled to think he could have shot his other leg with another gun, too. *
  3. And now the serious:  he faces 3.5 years in jail.  Mandatory minimum.
  4. To put this in perspective, just to pull an example out ex recto, Mike Tyson served three years for rape.**
  5. Burress will probably plead down.  Maybe he can even plead to a lesser charge.  He has a good attorney.
  6. Of course, not everyone has a good attorney, and mandatory minimums are everywhere.  Which is the real problem here, not Burress.  I’ve heard the argument made to the effect:  more parity in sentencing, by reducing judicial discretion, is more just.  I am unconvinced.***   This is the αιτια of judges.  Discretion is what they’re for.

*I suppose it’s more likely that one count was for the gun, the other for having it loaded, or something.

** Yeah, yeah, I know, he was sentenced for six.   But still.  Rape.  Shooting oneself in the leg.

***Largely because all it does is shift the game to getting charged with the right thing, which is already part of the game, but makes it worse for people without great representation.