Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

14 Oct 2005

Former Cowboy Dwayne Goodrich Jailed

Dwayne Goodrich, the Dallas Cowboys' top 2000 draft pick, will begin a 7.5-year prison sentence for crashing into and killing two people in 2003. Goodrich was driving more than 100 mph when he hit three people who had stopped to try to pull a man out of a burning vehicle. He was convicted in August 2003 and is just beginning his sentence now. Isn't justice supposed to be swift in this country?

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 14 Oct 2005

29 comments, Last at 17 Oct 2005, 8:34pm by Will Allen

Comments

1
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 1:32pm

Well, the swift justice which is constitutionally promised is designed to protect the accused.

Regarding an unrelated matter on the police blotter front, a potentially interesting detail of the Vikings Love Boat show was revealed, when it was reported that the strippers/hookers were likely flown in from Atlanta and Florida, and were part of a business which caters to providing these services to professional athletes and entertainers across the country. Ya' know, it is not unheard of for a Federal prosecutor with some ambition to go after some headlines by taking a hard stance on transporting women across state lines for purpose of prostitution, especially if it involves well-known people. If such a prosecuter were to start pulling on that ball of yarn, the lives of many prominent people may start to get interesting in ways they would not prefer.

2
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 1:32pm

Convicted in seven months was pretty darn swift.

Beginning sentence now == just ran out of appeals. How many layers of appeal would you deny him in the name of swift justice?

3
by Adam H (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 1:44pm

The moral of this story is that if you attended UT you shouldn't get behind the wheel (see Little, Leonard).

4
by TMK (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 2:02pm

Now come on, MDS, you're from Illinois, too -- the state that released 14 people from its 27-man Death Row because they happened to be not guilty after all.

What's amazing to me is that a couple of the more prominent DA's in those screwups actually ran for higher office after it was all revealed -- and won primaries in a certain pachydermal party.

Scary people, man. If it takes a little longer to put the Goodriches behind bars to make sure that we don't kill someone who was innocent, I'll take the tradeoff.

5
by MDS (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 2:06pm

"How many layers of appeal would you deny him in the name of swift justice?"

He can have as many appeals as he wants, but he shouldn't be free pending appeal. He killed two people. How many killers would you want roaming the streets while their appeals are argued?

6
by MDS (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 2:09pm

TMK, those people who were released from death row were in very different situations than Goodrich. But obviously, we always have to weigh the risk of falsely imprisoning people with the risk of letting criminals roam free. The only way to be absolutely certain never to falsely imprison someone is to imprison no one. As long as we're going to have prisons at all, a man who has been convicted of killing two people ought to be in one.

7
by MCS (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 2:23pm

Ya’ know, it is not unheard of for a Federal prosecutor with some ambition to go after some headlines by taking a hard stance on transporting women across state lines for purpose of prostitution, especially if it involves well-known people. If such a prosecuter were to start pulling on that ball of yarn, the lives of many prominent people may start to get interesting in ways they would not prefer.

What are you trying to say? Do you represent the people? Feeling ambitious?

On a different note: Personally, I find it reprehensible to transport women across state lines for the purposes of prostitution.

Support the local economy!

8
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 3:07pm

Hey, MCS, for the most part I support legalizing prostitution, and I don't represent anyone but myself. I was just remarking that transporting women across state lines for purposes of prostituion is a Federal rap, and that Federal prosecutors have been known to pursue investigations of such activity, since it provides a lot of headlines, especially when prominent people are involved, even if only as customers.

I would imagine being subpeonaed to give testimony regarding what sex acts one received fron which hooker, brought there by which interstate pimp, would be a less than wonderful experience for many a celebrity, especially a married celebrity, or a cebrity with lucrative endorsement deals. Whichever player put this party together was a complete moron.

9
by Richie (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 3:16pm

Just leave those Viking players alone. If they wanted to have a sex boat cruise, who cares?

The only thing that concerns me is if the crew of the ship were in any way abused/harassed/endangered.

But if girls want to get paid to go on that "cruise" then good for them.

To me, this is a non-story. Or, it's an amusing story, but should not get anybody in trouble.

10
by TMK (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 3:16pm

So your issue isn't with the appeals process, but that he was able to post bail while his appeals were going through the process.

Well, that's the benefit of something called money -- the money to post bond, and the money to hire attorneys potent enough to get a bond. There, you and I have no disagreement. Someone without Goodrich's resources would have been in custody. But that's not how this system works.

11
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 3:35pm

Like I said, Richie, I generally support legalizing prositution. The majority of people, however, disagree with me, and since I am not, unfortunately, Lord of all I Survey, prominent people being involved in an enterprise that appears to be violating the Federal Criminal Code, most definitely is a story, especially if a prosecutor chooses to investigate, along with the inevitable tax code violations that these type of enterprises tend to engage in as well.

More generally, since the public in the Twin Cities seems to be put off by this behavior, and the public's opinion will have an impact on public policy, in the debate regarding stadium subsidies, this is a story. For better or for worse, if you make your living by getting people to watch you on t.v., everything you do in a public place is a story, and a charter boat with a paid crew is a public place. If one doesn't find this tolerable, one best find a different career.

12
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 4:03pm

#5: MDS, he's not a maniacal murderer, for starters, and even if he were convicted of 1st Degree Murder, I would want for his rights to be protected at all costs, and if that means that he is roaming free on bond for a few months, then so be it. Why? Because if he was convicted, but not guilty, I would not want an innocent man behind bars. Yes, I would take the million murderers out on the streets as long as one innocent person is not behind bars.

#11: As MCS said, support the local economy. I agree that someone might pursue all of this, but as I said before, it's a non-story to me, unless damage was done to the crew of the ship. Now, Smoot and Co. should have had the common courtesy to tell the crew what was up before hand, but last time I checked, being an a-hole isn't against the law (in fact, it can get you to be Vice President of the US).

Regarding public opinion, the law, and what's right or wrong, just remember that the majority of the population, esp. in the South, felt that inter-racial marriages were wrong and should remain illegal.

13
by TMK (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 4:22pm

Actually, being an A**-hole has a lot to do committing criminal acts in the first place.

It does seem that there WAS 'damage' done to the crew and/or the boat, in that several crew members felt threatened by the situation. As Will points out, it stands a fair chance of going federal if these nimrods were actually dumb enough to bring 'talent' from another state for this purpose. It's the same thing they got Jamal Lewis on, after all; conducting criminal activity across state lines. Whatever your opinion of prostitution on private drug use is really doesn't enter into the matter.

14
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 4:25pm

Actually, amazingly enough, it's only the past decade that the percentage of the US population opposed to interracial marriage dropped below 50%. I believe it's now in the mid-40%.

After Loving v. Virginia (the case that made them legal) there were numerous attempts to pass Constitutional amendments to make them illegal (at the time, >90% of the general population was still against them). Had one succeeded, it's not unlikely it would have yet to be repealed (or only recently), as when anonymously asked (as above), the US population is still at >40% opposition (greater than most other Western nations).

T.

15
by MDS (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 5:01pm

"I would take the million murderers out on the streets as long as one innocent person is not behind bars."

Then shouldn't you be in favor of the abolition of the criminal justice system completely? There's simply no way to have a foolproof system, and if you honestly would rather have a million guilty people free than one innocent person imprisoned, there's really only one way to accomplish that. (Not that anyone comes to Football Outsiders to read my pontifications about the criminal justice system, of course. I really just thought it was an interesting article about an ex-player.)

16
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 5:40pm

MDS (#5 )--

“How many layers of appeal would you deny him in the name of swift justice?�

He can have as many appeals as he wants, but he shouldn’t be free pending appeal

And if one of those appeals came through, who gives him back the two years of his life?

There's a reason judges are supposed to decide who remains in custody pending appeal (normally only folks who are a risk for flight or additional violence, neither of which seems to be the case here), and why we're supposed to leave the angry mob out of that loop.

Don't join the angry mob, MDS.

17
by MDS (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 6:05pm

Fair enough, Starshatterer. My biggest objection here is to the way (in my opinion) automobile-related crimes are treated as if they're not serious, when of course they are serious and kill thousands of people every year. A person who drives more than 100 mph and kills two people is a real danger to society, and although seven years in prison would seem to be a serious deterrent, I worry when I read that a person who has committed such a serious crime is afforded so much time to make his appeals.

18
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 6:22pm

Automobile-related crimes are weird, simply because the intent of the driver is rarely to hurt the victim. Driving a hundred miles an hour is simply not the same as shooting out windows in a dark house, because the motive of going from point A to point B is valid, even if the chosen method (DUI, running through pedestrian crossings, excessive speeding, &c) is a greater risk to life than shooting up a perceived-to-be-empty house.

So the biggest charges the prosecutor can file have names like "negligent homicide" or "reckless endangerment," and those just don't carry the same stigma as "murder."

19
by fyo (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 6:42pm

I'd have to agree with Starshatterer here. The whole point with the bail system is that it minimizes the risk of flight. Thus, everything else being equal, a wealthy person would have to post a much higher bail in order for it to have the same preventative effect - and that is indeed how it happens.

There was little reason to believe that Goodrich would flee justice, so unless he presented a strong and immediate risk to the public, he should most certainly remain free until the process was completed.

20
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 8:39pm

Well, sophandros, being an a-hole who transports hookers across state lines is against the law, for better or for worse. You may think this is a non-story, but what is more important is whether prosecutors out to make headlines do. There are more than few fellas who wear hats with horns on them who sincerely hope that no such prosecutor like that is reading about this story.

21
by Harris (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 11:24pm

Yeah, yeah. Civil rights, criminal justice. Blah, blah, blah. We are ignoring that yet another Dallas Cowboy has been arrested and, in this case, convicted. Why are we debating legal nicities when we could be mocking this team of dope-smoking felons and their owner, the Crypt Keeper? Oh yeah, go Eagles.

22
by Adam H (not verified) :: Sat, 10/15/2005 - 12:24am

"being an a-hole who transports hookers across state lines is against the law"
WHAT? So much for my weekend plans.

23
by Ted Kennedy (not verified) :: Sat, 10/15/2005 - 12:29am

I hope you everyone takes a lesson from this and realizes that motor vehicles are dangerous machines and should be treated as such. Also from his fellow Volunteer, Leonard Little we can appreciate the value of using restraint when alcohol is involved.

24
by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 10/15/2005 - 12:43pm

re: #7

Does Minnesota *have* local talent?

25
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Sat, 10/15/2005 - 4:13pm

Hey, in a city of 2 million-plus people, finding what one desires locally shouldn't be a problem. In any case I just read in the Star Tribune that local authorities are following leads that the talent was from out of state, for possible referral to the U.S. Attorney or FBI. This goose is cooked. Once more information is gathered, including examining phone records, one or more of the players will likely be informed that they are subject to a federal charge of conspiring to transport people across state lines for purposes of engaging in prostitution. If the player(s) have any brains at all, he'll roll over like a log in a lumberjack contest. If they don't have any brains, a distinct possibility, he'll lie to FBI agents, and subsequently get the Martha Stewart treatment.

Next, the pimps will be indicted on several charges, probably some related to tax law and money laundering. Testimony in open court will follow as to who did what to whom, possibly including athletes on other teams and sports, if reports are accurate that this business provided services in several cities. What'll be interesting, football-wise, is if any Vikings with a lot of guaranteed money are implicated, and what language exists in their contracts for the team to void those guarantees, if the team so desires.

The moral of the story? Have your fun, but avoid doing anything which could the FBI or U.S. Attorney involved, because those fellas have the power to seriously mess up your life, if they so desire.

26
by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Sat, 10/15/2005 - 4:22pm

Wow... this has to be the most civic-minded football forum ever. It's great to read.

Re: #21: I love smack talk as much as the next guy, but there are limits, and this Goodrich case, in which real heroes lost their lives, certainly qualifies.

27
by masocc (not verified) :: Sat, 10/15/2005 - 6:11pm

Re: #'s 7 & 24

Sure, Minnesota has talent: John Madden! Oh wait, different kind of whore, my bad.

28
by Parker (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 11:29am

I've heard that Zygi has told his players that upon returning from Chicago they should all be looking for individual representation (if they were on the boat, that is). That's not a good sign.

29
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 8:34pm

Somebody told me thet Bradshaw made that claim yesterday on Fox. I certainly wouldn't be surprised. With the revelation that a similar party, although with the hookers reserving their most extravagant services for a more private location, took place last year, it seems obvious that this prostitution ring has likely been working in several states for a number of years. That's likely to catch the full attention of the FBI, along with the IRS, and the FBI is likely going to try to intimidate professional athletes into cooperating by hanging a conspiracy indictment over their heads.

Wilf is going to be laying the groundwork for voiding contract guarantees where possible. I wouldn't be surprised if this eventually involves more than just the Vikings.