How are professional athletes treated differently when it comes to plea bargaining?
James Knox: I don’t know that there is an answer to that. I think that plea bargaining tends to be the facts and circumstances of the case and it tends to rely heavily on both the defenses that are available to the defendant and the prosecution’s willingness to either prosecute the individual, maybe in the instance of a professional athlete maybe trying to avoid the media attention that would be associated with a professional athlete being tried in their courtroom.
We’ll go back to O.J. Simpson again. Here you go. The professional athlete being charged is probably one of the most high-profile in the last couple of decades. And he was acquitted in the criminal case. What happened as a result of that? Well, you saw a lot of those prosecutors either losing their jobs or going on to other things because they either used it as a stepping stone to help them in their careers or, in some instances, it didn’t help them at all.
So you have that possibility in any high-profile case, whether it be a celebrity or a professional athlete, things like that. Sometimes the prosecution may not want to try those cases because of the publicity associated with it. On the other hand, there are some prosecutors that enjoy the publicity and will try a case when the evidence they have is very weak just to try to get their name out there in the public eye.