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Ravens Release Ray Rice (UPDATED with "NFL Sees Tape" Story)

The Ravens have released running back Ray Rice hours after a TMZ video surfaced showing his assault on an elevator of his then-fiancee in February.

UPDATE September 10: The plot thickens. An Associated Press report now says that the league did in fact get sent the video from inside the elevator, which Roger Goodell has denied ever seeing until this week.

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Comments

189 comments, Last at 25 Sep 2014, 9:56pm

1 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Wondering what would make a possible comeback less likely, the recently released video, or his diminished output, which placed him last among qualifying RBs last season.

2 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

It's certainly so much easier for a sports franchise to take the moral high ground when the player's productive days appear to be behind him.

What appals me is that there's no way that the Ravens didn't know about this video beforehand, and yet they obviously didn't care. Only now that it's been made public for everyone to see (and judge the Ravens franchise) do they act.

5 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

The only possible defense I'll give to the Ravens and the league is that I find it hard to believe that they were so stupid as to think the video footage would not become public eventually. If they were that stupid, and Goodell is lying about never having seen it, thinking that his lie will not be exposed, then Goodell is too stupid to be commissioner, and his bosses need to fire him.

16 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

How did they think she got knocked out? When the only defense you can give is that they didn't know ahead of time there was video evidence of what everyone already knew happened then there really wasn't any defense.

Then again, maybe some people thought she just tripped in the elevator or something.

18 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Yeah, that's what I don't understand. Who cares whether they had seen this video or not-- what did they think happened in the elevator? Why does this video change anything-- isn't this what we assumed happened?? I don't get why the NFL changes their decision based on this, except that now public outcry is more severe because a more horrible visual has been made available.

23 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Because you simply can't punish an individual based on what you think or assume happened without clear evidence. Dragging someone out of an elevator doesn't tell you 100% what led to it. It will be a scary day if this country starts doling out punishments based on what the majority of people think happened. That you turned out to be correct is irrelevant. I would continue, but that's pretty much the bottom line.

29 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

First, I'm talking about the NFL's punishment, not that of the courts-- the NFL is a private organization and is enforcing a personal conduct policy that its employees have agreed to. They are free to act on circumstantial evidence.

Second, there was never a possibility here that anything other than violent assault occurred in the elevator, BECAUSE RAY RICE ADMITTED THAT AN ASSAULT OCCURRED IN THE ELEVATOR, in his press conference and other mediums. Examples of misunderstanding drunken injuries are not really a fair analogy here.

32 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Right you are..looks like the closest he got was this:
"As me and Janay wish we could take back 30 seconds of our life..."
Makes sense for legal reasons.

That said, the more important part of my point was that the NFL is enforcing an employee conduct policy-- they're not bound by the same laws and due process that a court is (as Roger Goodell has demonstrated many times before in trampling over drug policy violators). I'm hard-pressed to believe that they made their previous ruling based on some other understanding of the situation, but now that they've seen this new video are acting upon a new factual understanding, rather than a new public image concern.

To be fair, I guess if Ray Rice directly lied to them about what happened in the elevator previously, and they took him at his word for some reason, perhaps they are now reacting to evidence that what he told them was false? Feels like a stretch, but I guess that could be a possible explanation.

41 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I have little doubt that Rice and his fiance lied to Goodell. If I'm going to criticize the league, it is either due to it being a lie that they never saw the footage (I find it implausible that the league is lying, because it is a lie that very likely will exposed pretty shortly, and I expect the legal and pr professionals in the NFL to have more brains than a 28 year old runningback for the Ravens), or because they didn't try hard enough to obtain the footage that TMZ did.

31 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

And this pretty much sums up why domestic abuse and sexual assault are as easy to commit as they are. We had video evidence of what happened. Reasonable doubt does not imply there needs to be 100% proof. Reasonable doubt does imply that someone who suffered injuries consistent with getting punched unconscious and is shown on video being dragged out of the place where she became unconscious was punched unconscious by the person that dragged her out. So from your perspective it has been a scary day in this country for more than 200 years. And that's ignoring that the NFL doesn't require anything close to reasonable doubt to punish someone right now. But yeah, maybe she fell and landed on his fist and then hit her head and he was just dragging her out to get her to the hospital as quickly as possible. It's really just dumb luck that I turned out to be correct.

37 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Look, I know you feel good about yourself when you pretend to know what happened, despite that you as of yet do not have access to the evidence that actually allows you to know what happened. Others think it is more prudent to wait until the evidence becomes available. Now, if you want to hammer the prosecutor, who saw the evidence, and decided that aggravated battery was not worth prosecuting, go right ahead. I agree. If you want to hammer the league because you suspect they are lying when they say they didn't see the evidence, or because they should have tried harder to see the evidence I may agree. To imply you knew what happened all along, however, is flat out, to be charitable, inaccurate, if what it means to "know" something is still to have meaning.

27 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

You guys really need to get out and walk on the wild side a little bit, if only for educational purposes. Three drunks in an elevator accidentally broke my foot once. I once saw guy break three ribs when his girlfriend playfully gave him a light push.

You really can't believe how frequently very intoxicated people get significantly injured without much input from others.

82 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

From what they are saying on ESPN right now, Ray Rice was completely candid about what he did in the elevator. The Ravens and the NFL knew that he'd knocked her out.

The steps being taken now are all PR-driven. There is no new information in the video. It's just that the league office has come to the conclusion that the public was horrified by the initial two game suspension, and so they've decided to use the tape release as an excuse to change the punishment.

It's all PR-driven, like most of what Goodell does when it comes to punishments. That's what happens when every single decision about punishment comes down to the whim of the commissioner, with no codified system of what kinds of punishments will be levied.

86 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Boy, I'd say Goodell has gotta go, if that is the case, if, for no other reason he'd almost need to be drunk to not know that the elevator footage would become public, and a p.r. disaster would ensue. It makes no sense to pay tens of millions of dollars to an idiot.

20 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

You ever been around really drunk people? I have. I've seen at least a half dozen of them render themselves unconscious with minimal assistance. Once, in fact, I saw it happen in an elevator.

Yes, in large measure I've had a misspent life, especially when I was younger.

33 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Which time did it appear that these people had been punched in the face (as opposed to falling down or passing out)?

What happened when you dragged the person out of the elevator?

35 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

One time two people were in a dispute, and neither threw any punches, but when one person moved his arm suddenly to remove another person's hand from it, he lost his balance and struck his forehead, I kid you not, just above the eyebrow, on the edge of a bar, and then stumbled back and tripped over another person's foot, eventually hit his head on the floor. Once I knew the person hadn't killed or permanently injured himself, I decided it was one of the funnier things I ever saw happen in a saloon. Kinda' like a real life Three Stooges short, except with two stooges. Who were hammered.

Like I said, it appears that a lot of people in this thread are pretty inexperienced in the ways of degenerate drunks.

39 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

These stories are very clearly not analogous to the situation depicted by the original elevator video, which was also able to be investigated (rather than just someone making a judgment based on a drunk visual impression) and was accompanied by an admitting of some level of wrong-doing from Ray Rice.

It's very clear that what you're describing is wildly different than this situation. What is the point, then? To convince us that you've hung out in some cool "saloons"?

42 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

It isn't clear in anything but your head. Read carefully. Drunk people do all manner of ridiculous things that result in them being injured, that involve physical conflict that someone may regret later, but do not rise to the level of criminal wrongdoing. Got it? Is it really so damned hard to simply demand that all available evidence be made public, prior to rendering an opinion, or is actually knowing the facts of a matter a secondary consideration, compared to moralistically preening?

45 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I'm not moralistically preening-- I'm not arguing for or against the level of punishment that was levied. My argument is that the video released today did not provide the NFL with any significant new facts that they were not aware of when they rendered their initial judgment. And because they have taken new action when they really have not been provided with any new facts, my argument is that the NFL is acting only out of concern for their image and their statements/posturing are disingenuous. And that bothers me.

The doubts that you are raising are beyond a reasonable standard, and certainly beyond what an employer needs to take into account when enforcing a personal conduct policy.

46 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

You abuse language when you strip the terms "aware" and "facts" of meaning by implying that they are synonymous with "strongly suspect" or "likely happened".

The NFL is in the business of marketing irrational warm and fuzzy feelings. I expect them to do what they think serves that purpose best, and I'm rarely surprised by its behavior.

52 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

"The NFL is in the business of marketing irrational warm and fuzzy feelings. I expect them to do what they think serves that purpose best, and I'm rarely surprised by its behavior."

One does not have to be surprised in order to be irritated. It is okay to be irritated when an organization like the NFL acts disingenuous or underestimates the intelligence of its fan base, even if it is not surprising. Cynicism does not have to be the high ground.

Regarding your first point...again, I am not making an argument for ability to convict in a court of law. I am discussing an employer's ability to enforce an employee conduct policy. The standards are significantly different. And I continue to feel that in that context, you are parsing degrees of wrongdoing just for the sake of parsing, and that your objective is to play theoretical devil's advocate, not to discuss this specific situation.

75 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I hear ya.
Unvoluntairily I am thinking of the Idiocracy movie, where an attorney is asked why someone is guilty. His answer: "pfff, I mean, look at him."

Proof, facts and evidence is what you need to make a decision. In science and in court.

83 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

The Ravens were aware that Rice had punched his fiance and knocked her out. That's not an abuse of the word "aware" by any common understanding of the word. He had admitted as such to his employer.

The only thing that's changed is the level of embarrassment to the team and the league that has come along with the public release of the videotape. Even now a lot of NFL people still have the strong instinct to rally to Rice's defense, to act as if he's facing "struggles" and somehow a victim of his own behavior.

103 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

From ESPN.com:

"The source said that Rice admitted to the Ravens from the start that he was guilty of striking Janay and, for the most part, accurately described what they eventually saw on the video. But the brutality of the assault when seen on the security video made a different impression.

'His description was not too much different -- except it looks more violent when you see it,' a team source said."

58 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

The only thing you have convinced me of is that you don't quite understand the words "fact" and "aware".

As a simple observer myself, it is plainly obvious that there is a huge emotional and factual difference hearing about vague descriptions of an act through clearly biased participants and actually SEEING it.

48 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Golly, I love you, too. Now, if you want to explain why waiting for evidence before forming opinions, especially when it is very likely that the evidence will be made public, is a bad thing, lemme know.

50 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

"I have little doubt that Rice and his fiance lied to Goodell"

"Look, I know you feel good about yourself when you pretend to know what happened, despite that you as of yet do not have access to the evidence that actually allows you to know what happened. Others think it is more prudent to wait until the evidence becomes available"

You abuse language when you strip the terms "aware" and "facts" of meaning by implying that they are synonymous with "little doubt".

Pot Meet Kettle.

55 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Hey, Coach, if you want to think there is a chance that 'ol Ray said to ol' Roger, when asked what happened in the elevator, "Hey, I slugged her, but I'd really like a break here", or "Sorry, Rog, ol' boy, but I really don't want to talk about it", go right ahead. I have little doubt (as opposed to knowing for a fact), that Ray said something disingenuous to Roger.

74 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

For what it's worth, I've seen several reporters on Twitter allege that one of the reasons the Ravens cut Rice immediately after the footage was released is that he lied to the organization about what happened.

Mike Freeman alleges the same in respect to his teammates here.

It's not a stretch to imagine he said something similar to the league, if the allegations of lying to his teammates and his bosses are true.

76 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

As interesting as a debate about semantics becomes, the terms "little doubt" and "know" are synonymous in general use. We could spend time talking about degrees of knowledge and what not but if it makes you feel better I'll concede that my knowledge of what happened in the elevator prior to the most recent video was comparable to "little doubt." I thought that was clear when talking about the difference between 100% certainty and reasonable doubt but maybe spelling it out a bit more will help clarify things to the intentionally obtuse in the audience.

80 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Yes, and my point has been is that you are vastly underestimating the frequency with which very drunk people are significantly injured in disputes with others, even if those others have not engaged in any criminal behavior. In contrast, after I have indisputable proof that an instance of aggravated battery has occurred, and I see an entity greatly increase it's punishment for the behavior in question, after that same indisputable proof becomes public, I am left with four alternatives. The person being punished was forthright all along about his behavior when discussing the incident with the entity . The person being punished was disingenuous when discussing the incident. The person refused to discuss the matter with the entity. The entity decided to have a meeting, and never asked about the incident. Of these four, I have little doubt the 2nd is what happened, for the simple reason that the other three entail the entity being wholly irrational, and unlike a very drunk person, this is not an entity that typically engages in wholly irrational behavior.

78 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I'm with Will here. As a Ravens fan, I wanted to believe that something unlikely had happened, like this:

They get in the elevator, she is verbally abusing him, he says something, and she assaults him, punching and slapping. He pushes her away, and being completely drunk, she falls and hits her head.

And before yesterday, you COULD believe that. All of the actual "evidence" we'd seen would have been consistent with that. I had even read somewhere that she had been verbally abusive on the casino floor, before they went toward the elevator. Ray Rice's statements did not contradict that: of course he "regretted" what happened in the elevator, anyone would, but he never said he slugged her. The only real discordant note was their awful, awful demeanor at Rice's press conference. Janay Palmer's voice and body language terrible and disturbing. But hey, maybe she's just uncomfortable in front of cameras and reporters.

Now, this is a clear case of me believing what I wanted to believe. But it wasn't an impossible scenario: it was at least 20% possible that things had happened that way. And Rice had such a good guy reputation off the field, had given his time to anti-bullying campaigns and stuff; and the Ravens brass were so conspicuously out there with "We talked to Ray about the events of that night, and he has assured us" stuff. The benefit of the doubt seemed reasonable.

Ray Lewis factors in here too. We all remember him being accused of something terrible, and it all looking very bad at first; but ultimately his specific actions turned out not to be as bad as it first appeared. Not that obstruction of justice is laudable: but it turned out Lewis was not Aaron Hernandez either. Maybe this was the same thing.

Some of my fellow Ravens fans had already written off Ray Rice when the first video emerged; but I kept thinking that was a rush to judgment. We jut didn't know. But now, we know.

81 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Hey. I always thought it was likely that he slugged her. I also thought it was nearly certain that the video from the elevator would become public pretty shortly, because somebody like Harvey Levin would pay for it. I was thus very content to wait until I knew more before rendering a strong opinion. My major dispute has been with a prosecutor who decided to send Rice to a pre-trial diversion program, without making the pertinent evidence available to the public.

56 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Apropos:

My father was once on the jury for a manslaughter trial. The jist of the incident was that two men who had been drinking in a bar got into an argument. One pushed the other in anger, not overly hard according to witnesses, and clearly with no intention of inflicting serious injury. The pushed man lost his balance, hit his head on a table and died.

I believe the verdict was guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Funny, I just wikipedia'd involuntary manslaughter and it has verbiage similar to my father's case "A person who pushes off an aggressive drunk, who then falls and dies, has probably not committed manslaughter, although in some jurisdictions it may depend whether "excessive force" was used or other factors."

I wonder if the who's who of starting the argument and how aggressive each party was actually mattered in my father's case.

57 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

A corpse always increases the chance of conviction for felony violence, because the jury has a much harder time, with the aid of a good defense attorney, rationalizing away any evidence of criminal intent.

3 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

The Ravens are shocked--SHOCKED--the public actually got to see the video they by all accounts were able to review months ago.

4 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

http://deadspin.com/someone-is-lying-about-whether-the-nfl-saw-the-ray-rice-1631901404/all

Will be interesting to see how many media heads that got burned on this
will rebel against Old Roger Goodell

--------------------------------------
The standard is the standard!

6 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

If Goodell is so dumb that he thinks he can lie about not having seen the footage, and that the lie won't be very publicly revealed, then he really is too stupid for the owners to continue to employ him. This is the only reason I think there is a chance that he is telling the truth when he says he hadn't seen it until this morning.

7 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Though if he's telling the truth today, then he's stupid in a different way, for knowing that there was video of what happened inside the elevator and making a suspension determination without getting to see it.

10 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Yeah, thats dumb as well, but if he demanded Rice and his fiance give a detailed account of what happened, while telling them "If it turns out you lied to me, I'll reopen the case, and suspend you indefinitely", then it's not quite as dumb as lying abut never having seen the video, when you actually have.

11 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I think there is an excellent chance this particular situation will cost Roger Goodell his job. The NFL is incredibly sensitive to its image, and you have both a team and the NFL itself say they reviewed a video that is beyond shocking in its violence. Either they don't care or didn't see it, and Goodell is the face of that.

12 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I'd like to speak to someone with some legal expertise (which certainly does not encompass all with a law degree) as to whether there was any downside to the NFL offering to buy the footage in the manner that Harvey Levin at TMZ eventually did.

13 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I don't know about the legalities, but from a technological standpoint, it would be stupid to think can suppress any information.

There would literally be nothing stopping the possessor of the footage from having unlimited number of backups and no way to determine if they have been made or how many exist.

59 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

There might have been legal barriers to seeing it. I'm sure that if RR's lawyer had any power at all to make it hard to see by outside parties (the NFL would be an outside party, not involved in any criminal case), he would have tried to do so.

A journalist is more likely to extract a leaked document because they tend to have better legal mechanisms for hiding their sources.

IANAL

8 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

As to the really important stuff, how do all the residents in that legal jurisdiction feel about having a prosecutor who apparently thinks that aggravated battery, with indisputable evidence, is worthy of pre-trial diversion?

19 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

"how do all the residents in that legal jurisdiction feel about having a prosecutor who apparently thinks that aggravated battery, with indisputable evidence, is worthy of pre-trial diversion?"

Ok, I'll play devil's advocate here.

At the time of adjudication, the victim refused to press charges. The perpetrator had no criminal record, no history. He's also a highly-paid individual with a very short career window. Does society as a whole benefit by paying to try and incarcerate Ray Rice rather than trying to correct the behavior in a less costly manner? Which is something that happens every single day in every single jurisdiction. Isn't a pre-trial behavioral modification program for a first-time offender a more rational approach?

I will also say that it's interesting to see the reaction to the video. There's nothing in it that we didn't know had to be there. She hit him, he hit her twice, she fell. I haven't followed it closely, but wasn't that already the story? Yes, there's a visceral reaction that one has to seeing it, but is there any new information being presented here?

Let me be clear - I'm not excusing what he did, and nothing about this should be construed as an excuse. The behavior that he engaged in is, in my mind, inexcusable. But if he doesn't ever earn another nickel in the NFL, well, I'm not certain that justice is served by that, either. This is not an Aaron Hernandez/OJ Simpson/Rae Carruth situation.

26 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I didn't know what had to be there, because I've seen very drunk people rendered unconscious without being criminally assaulted.

Yes, I think our society would be better served if every single instance of aggravated battery, when there was overwhelming evidence that the crime had been committed, was prosecuted to the utmost extent available under the law.

60 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

That is a little extreme. What if it is punishable by death or life in prison?

There is a reason that judges and prosecutors have flexibility in the charges and punishments. Not every variation of a crime is equal, not every variation should go the the 'utmost extent available under the law'.

There is also good reason for the courts and prosecutors to focus their resources on what is the best benefit for society. Every hour and dollar spend on domestic abuse is an hour and dollar taken away from something else.

There is not an infinite supply of policing, prosecuting, and court time. In my opinion being a celebrity couple shouldn't make it any higher priority than a poor couple in the ghetto.

Am I defending this? No! Its horrible. She should leave him and take half his money. Should the courts necessarily spend as much public time and money going after him as possible? I don't know -- that depends on what that time and money is being diverted from.

62 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Well, I'd oppose such punishments for aggravated battery. I do think that the penalties for aggravated battery tend to be lighter than optimal. I agree that the state must prioritize. I really think that prison should be reserved for the criminally violent alone, and the most monumental (think Madoff) property crime.

85 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

If the police have clear evidence that a crime has been committed, evidence that doesn't rely on the testimony of the victim, it is the duty of the DA to prosecute. He's not granted the latitude to decide that it's better for society to let this one guy off.

If society as a whole doesn't want assault and battery to be prosecuted, they need to change the laws.

169 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

"If the police have clear evidence that a crime has been committed, evidence that doesn't rely on the testimony of the victim, it is the duty of the DA to prosecute. He's not granted the latitude to decide that it's better for society to let this one guy off."
You would be incorrect, that is exactly the prosecutor's duty and the job has that sort of latitude for a purpose. The justice system has limited resources and the prosecutor is just one of the people responsible for allocation of those resources. The questions the prosecutor probably asked went something like this:
Do we have a pattern of behavior that suggests that this is an ongoing issue?
What is the position of the victim?
What is the attitude of the accused?
What is the risk to the community as a whole?
Is there a reasonable alternative to prosecution that might reasonably provide a better rehabilitative outcome?
The purpose of Justice has much more to do with restoring equity and rehabilitation than vengeance.

The NFL was in a very different position. Their product is all about violence but it is supposed to be controlled violence. When one of their employees lacks control of their violent tendencies the game when on the field they are subject to penalty. When they do so in the general society they are (and should be) subject to losing their livelihood. The NFL screwed up; the prosecutor probably did not.

9 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I am trying to think of a way this matter could have been more mishandled but really the league and the club pretty much nailed it.

Incompetence 101, thy name is the NFL

15 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I don't understand why NOW the NFL and the Ravens think they need to take decisive action. What did they think happened in the elevator before??? Wasn't today's video basically exactly what everyone assumed happened? Isn't that why they punished him in the first place, because very convincing circumstantial evidence indicated a violent act had taken place?

Ray Rice and his actions are no different today than they were a few months ago...it was just as clear then that he had battered his girlfriend. All that has changed now is we have a visual to accompany that fact. For the NFL/Ravens to handle him with kid gloves months ago and to suspend him indefinitely now makes no sense to me and seems highly hypocritical. It's a reaction to public outcry, not to the criminal act.

22 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I don't think it was the case that everyone assumed that this is what happened in the elevator. I think given the fact that 1) he got very light treatment by the prosecutors (who had seen the video), 2) his now-wife was also initially arrested and was apologetic about her actions, and 3) the possible fact that his now-wife may have downplayed the incident when meeting with the Ravens and Godell suggested that it may have been drunken horseplay gone awry rather than assault.

Obviously that's not the case.

24 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I think if the video had shown her punching him in the face several times and him hitting back, there wouldn't be this level of outcry. Yes, he's clearly FAR bigger than her, but people can understand the concept of "hitting back", even if it's an order of magnitude higher. The Ravens (and Rice's fiancee/wife) had even implied it was somewhat mutual, and she was initially also charged in the matter (charges later dropped). If you're looking at a situation where both parties were involved in a physical altercation, there is a chance that video shows Rice pushing her off hard and her hitting her head or whatever, and people can say, "See, he wasn't trying to hurt her, he was defending himself" and move on. I can imagine situations where she winds up unconscious where Rice looks like a bully, but not an absolute monster.

Instead, you get a video of a professional athlete punching his fiancee in the head while she's standing there. There's no way I can imagine anyone doing something to justify that kind of a hit. If you are the Ravens or the NFL (or the prosecutor) and have seen that video, I don't know how at that exact moment Ray Rice still has any chance at a career. Or avoiding jail, actually.

44 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Nothing about the legality in my post, simply about the PR hit. There is an established and well-worn precedent in the NFL that you do not need to wait for a conviction to enact discipline of any kind. I'm simply saying if the NFL didn't see the video (which seems inconceivably dumb), I can imagine varied situations in which Ray Rice would have not been banned for life because nobody in authority was aware of the nature of the assault.

Ray Rice is out of the NFL because he did something that looks utterly terrible. Had it been something that just looked "pretty bad", he'd be back in a few weeks.

49 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

The victim, whether intimidated, misguided, or correct in the belief that this was a terrible aberration[1] in the behavior of Mr. Rice went ahead and married him, she apparently spoke to both the league and the club in a manner supporting Mr Rice.

It is entirely possible they believed the fight to have been an incident where she was hitting him attacking him aggressively and he flailed his arms, or struck out and made contact with her, knocking her down, where perhaps she hit her head and was knocked unconscious. Now that we've seen the video we know this was not what happened, that was a truly vicious, cold blooded, savage attack. Implying to me that this was not the first, and likely not the last time he's done something like that.
I do not know if they saw the video or not before it was released.
If they did, they made a huge mistake in not suspending him for much longer than they originally did. The fact that he is, based on last season, essentially no better than Trent Richardson at this point in his career definitely made the Raven's decision easier. But I hope everyone would agree that what we saw on that tape is not the sort of "Woman gets in man's face, man waves arms and woman is struck in the face"[1] story some had imagined this case to be about.

1: Who knows, maybe he's a great human being and together they will have a wonderful and happy life. I hope so, wish them both well. Odds seem against this, but we can dream of a better world.

2: That isn't acceptable, you don't hit people, period, ever. Not just women, you don't hit people, they teach you that in kindergarten. But it's a different sort of transgression than what he did in that elevator.

17 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

The irony is - I think if Ray had been suspended for the whole year, he probably would still be on the team right now. I am more disgusted by our legal system frankly.

108 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Yes, this has been a mess through and through. And lest we forget, in a twist not unlike many similar cases, all punishment dished out to Rice also hurts his wife.

------
Who, me?

28 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

It's interesting that the Ravens restructured Lardarius Webb's contract right before the season started to free up some cap room, but didn't add any body.

Now it looks like that added room is enough for the Ravens to cut Rice without going over the cap. They obviously knew this was coming.

EDIT:
Maybe I'm wrong, they may have spread the hit over to next year. However they did cut a CB and promote practice squad RB Fitzgerald Touissant before the opener, so they may still have known.

79 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Ravens needed the extra cap space when the season started, because you stop using the Rule of 51 and start using the whole roster to count toward the cap.

Derek Cox was cut because he was a vested veteran, and if he had been on the week 1 roster his season salary would have become guaranteed. They probably bring him back this week, now that they're not on the hook for his whole salary.

Point being, the Ravens roster moved with Cox and Touissant do NOT mean that "they obviously knew this was coming." They were completely explainable move on their own.

25 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I also wonder if there is any kind of double jeopardy claus that will allow Rice to appeal the suspension. I can't imagine the NFLPA would allow this kind of action by the commissioner, even though Rice has no defenders at this point.

34 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I wouldn't doubt if the original suspension took place based upon Rice and his fiance's account of what happened, with the understanding that the matter would be re-opened if that account proved to be deceptive. The account could have been something along the lines of "Yes, we were in a fight, and while we did get physical with one another, no punches were thrown, and my fiance lost her balance, and struck her head on the handrail".

40 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Yes but the new policy that Godell implemented applies to only new cases. Under the old policy Rice was suspended in line for what he was arrested for given previous incidents along with his first-time offender status, regardless of whether there is video evidence or not.

36 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Each county court is its own world. Odds are the prosecutor does not live in your community drawing jurors from your neighbors with a trial to be overseen by specific judges under a particular state law. For all I know the marriage after the fact allows Ray Rice to assert marital immunity preventing his wife from testifying against him.

You can't believe it. I get that. I hear results in Chicago varying from surrounding counties on all sorts of stuff and it is the kind of thing that happens. There is a significant people-component to these things that is not averaged out on a nation-wide basis.

Think about that when you take a pass on your local elections for prosecutor and the judge slates.

51 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Keith Olbermann flailed and annihilated Goodell, the Ravens, and about everybody else for this. I mean, I often disagree with him, but this is not one of those times.

http://deadspin.com/keith-olbermann-on-roger-goodell-an-enabler-of-men-wh-1632150757

54 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Really?

"Mr. Casse and Mr. Newsome put the meaninglessness of their own team's financial and on-field success ahead of the safety and well-being not only of Janay Palmer, but of every woman in the country now threatened by a man who, because of how they covered for Ray Rice, is a little more more confident of he can get away with it."

"And lastly, I accuse us, all of us, executives, players, fans, reporters, of failing to draw a line in the sand when one was needed most. Any games played by Baltimore without its executives and the Commissioner having been dismissed, and without Ray Rice Being permanently banned by the National football League, must be fully boycotted by all of us. If not, we become accessories After the fact."

His blowhardiness makes my head hurt. We're all guilty!

61 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

So the owner(?) of TMZ says that tomorrow he's going to prove the NFL had access (or watched) the video.

Wonder who will have the most egg on their face if he's right?

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The standard is the standard!

64 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I'd say Goodell's gotta get clipped if that happens. One of the main responsibilities of the Commissioner of the NFL is to effectively lie on behalf of the bosses. Getting exposed in such an obvious and stupid manner really hampers the ability to fulfill that role in the future. They may wait until after the Super Bowl, after they have done a search for the next mouthpiece, but I'd say if Levin makes good on that promise, Roger's off to long term parking.

67 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Im sorry that you

1) think threads NEVER go off topic

2) are only NOw* grasping
the severity of this fiasco.

It should have been discussed from minute one on ANY site dedicated to football.

But in all seriousness, I'll join your e-police squad and call anyone who posts ANY off-topic comment that I see in a thread as "trolling"

Starting with recommendations to go to chat , RaiderJoe spelling LULZ, etc.

Since obviously you 100% enforce your ideological code on "trolling", you'll love the company, right? Oh, you don't care about *that* off topic commentary? Jeez. Wonder why.

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The standard is the standard!

69 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I'm sorry that you are ignorant of the meaning of the word "enforce".

I'm sorry that you don't read well enough to know that I said many hours ago, not "just now" that Goodell might lose his job over this and that this same reading deficiency is such that it has left you to make the false implication that I gave some indication that I believed that threads "NEVER go off-topic". I did not.

I'm sorry that your sense of proportion is such that the prospect of the owners replacing their mouthpiece is something you see as entailing "severity", as opposed to being an interesting oddity.

70 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

link to you EVER calling a "offtopic" comment (obvious 3rd world jersey/etc spammers don't count) post "trollbait"
other than my in the earlier thread today?

One IOTA of ideological consistency. I'll admit my error in signature. Prove me wrong.

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The standard is the standard!

71 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I have no idea of what you are babbling about. I'm sorry that you so significantly concerned that I used a term several hours ago that you are still yammering about it. I take it back. There; Allllllllllll Better!

87 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Well, Goodell's job is to do what the owners want even if he does not have time to get their opinion on it, to advise them what they want to do to help protect them if is a situation to get instructions from them, and in the end if things do not work out to be sacrificed to protect them. It is not to be some free-agent moral arbiter. He is their agent, not a free and independent individual.

I suspect part of the problem was the players union which is relatively combative compared to times past. Did the players' union have the tape and basically tell Goodell that they would go to the mat for Ray Rice in the face of the video?

The reason I ask is that people who have survived up to a certain point have done so for a reason, and if they fail there are often complicating factors that forced the errors that led to their downfall. I am just trying to imagine what those might have been.

77 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I'm really disappointed that, among the FO commentariat, there appears to be very limited drinking experience.

Seriously, close those laptops and live a little.

102 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I hadn't gotten to this thread until now. First, thanks Will for trying to educate people just how stupid drunks can be and how many get injured. You don't have to be behind the wheel to be hurt by a drunk - or even be the drunk who hurts someone. Second, I'm glad I missed this because it seems like some here have decided to make up their own "facts" as to who knew what and when. I'm tired of posters stating "I heard on (fill in the source)." It's not that hard to post a link. You can either copy and paste it (it will still work if it runs to many lines) or learn some basic html and link it like this. (If a 58-year-old geography major can learn html, you can.)

104 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

From ESPN.com:
http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11494073/nfl-says-ray-rice-video-was-sought-multiple-sources

"The source said that Rice admitted to the Ravens from the start that he was guilty of striking Janay and, for the most part, accurately described what they eventually saw on the video. But the brutality of the assault when seen on the security video made a different impression.

'His description was not too much different -- except it looks more violent when you see it,' a team source said."

107 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Yes, an unnamed source said "His description was not too much different -- except it looks more violent when you see it".

That's a big enough hole for a 65 year old Ray Rice to run through. Not too different, except more violent. I love that.

154 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Is your suggestion that getting drunk makes it ok? Or that somehow under the law it relieves the accused of responsibility?

If the crime was one of 'specific intent' it may. Specific intent does not go to punching or shooting someone. That is general intent. Specific intent is intended toward a specific result of action. First degree murder is an example. Drunkenness may relieve the accused of the first degree because drunkenness prevented premeditation.

On the other hand, it is an enhancement or defining characteristic of other crimes. Driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated for example.

For Ray Rice, depending on the state law (they vary hugely in this regard), it could affect the degree of the assault charge that the prosecutor could bring.

90 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I sure hope everyone calling for blood is never in a situation where it looks like they probably committed a crime. Sure in the end Ray Rice did do the deed, so you're right this time. However, it is not nearly as hard as many believe to end up in a situation where it looks like one has committed a crime without having done so.

91 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

It always disturbs me that so many people don't reflect on how really hard it is to actually "know" something, when "knowing" something entails inflicting very significant costs on a person that you think you "know" something about. So many people favor speed of judgement over patience in acquiring evidence.

Of course, it appears here that Goodell's primary blunder was either not being diligent in gaining access to evidence, and/or being such a dunce as to think the indisputable evidence would not become public.

97 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

This is a reasonable opinion, but if the NFL and Ravens didn't have any material evidence on what had occurred in that elevator (or a confession from Rice himself), then what was the justification for the two-game suspension in the first place? Maybe giving someone the benefit of the doubt in the absence of concrete evidence doesn't mean *completely* giving them the benefit of the doubt.

130 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Huh? Who is calling for blood in a situation in which they had no evidence that a crime was committed? Pretty much as soon as the story leaked details of the video were leaked indicated Rice punched her out.

The overwhelming majority of the time when the majority of anecdotal evidence suggest a crime has been committed, a crime has been committed. Luckily we have reasonable doubt as a tenant of our justice system for the few in which that is not the case.

132 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Please read what I wrote again. I never said there was no evidence. However, until the release of this second tape it was all circumstantial.

I do not agree that the "overwhelming majority of the time" that circumstantial evidence means a crime has been committed.

94 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Not really. Until yesterday, she stood to financially benefit on a massive scale if Rice could play a few more years, or even one more year. Lots of people, men and women, would be willing to take a beating for a lot of money. Even now, her willingness to stand with him likely greatly improves his chance of getting his suspension lifted, by the beginning of next season, even at a greatly reduced salary. Ray Rice's earning power, outside of being a football player, very likely is minimal, compared to what his contract called for, or even what a new contract would command. The next couple years are critical to the next several decades, in terms of her, and her child's, financial well being. This is before we get to issues of people who endure violence often blaming themselves.

110 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

It's not that uncommon. Some women choose to stay with husbands or boyfriends who repeatedly use violence against them or else leave them for similar men. Those women have pretty much the same basic issues as the men they are the victims of -but expressed in the opposite way- and are equally in need of psychological help.

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Who, me?

95 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Tick, tick, tick...that is the clock running up to the game on Thursday night. If the owners have a decent crisis counselor working with them, they should know that there is no way you can go into that game with Goodell still the commissioner. This is an absolute PR nightmare for the league, and the best thing they can do now is cut all ties with management that was in place, and that starts with Goodell.

Whether they agree with public opinion or not, it is irrelevant. The league has to do something to quell the negative publicity they are getting right now. Public opinion affects money, and the one thing the owners are very much motivated by is that.

96 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

"There is no way you can go into [Thursday night's] game with Goodell still the commissioner..."

I think that's poppycock. Why on earth not? Whether Roger Goodell's position is current or former commissioner will have zero impact on NFL ratings or revenues on this, or any other, Thursday night.

Is it possible that the PR debacle eventually results in enough dissatisfaction with him that the owners don't extend him when his contract is up? Yes. But fire him this week? No chance...

98 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

tick, tick, tick - On the contrary, Thursday's game can't get here fast enough for Goodell (and the NFL). They already did a halftime on Monday night football about this. Back to football, and this story fades away. Like it or not.

111 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

First, to be perfectly clear, I dislike violence in general, and I particularly despise the use of violence as a method of dispute resolution, and thus, I (like everybody else) found this latest video to be quite disturbing and hard to watch.

Second, having said that, I think the most disturbing thing about this whole situation is the fact that the media's coverage has contained almost no mention of the victim's thoughts and feelings about this matter, and on the rare occasions they have been mentioned, they have been treated as little more than an afterthought. The extent of outrage over the crime and the lack of punishment, combined with an almost total disregard for the victim, is quite bizarre, and makes this seem like less of a crusade for justice and more of a chance to showcase righteous indignation for PR purposes.

112 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Agree in principle...but in this case, it may be partly because the victim has been even more vocal than the antagonist in wanting to move on, asserting that both were at fault, protesting the media coverage, etc. It's tough to write a piece on how terrible this was and then include quotes from the victim that seem designed to minimize the incident and redirect people's attention on their "future as a couple."

113 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

But that's my point. Whenever a crime is committed, I believe the most important consideration should be what's best for the victim. In this case, the victim has made it clear that she would prefer to put the incident behind her and just move on. But everyone else seems hellbent on making sure that Rice receives an appropriately harsh punishment, even if doing so makes the situation more difficult for Palmer. It makes me wonder whether they are actually motivated by sympathy for her, or whether they are just using the situation as an opportunity to posture.

114 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I really disagree that what's best for the victim of crime, especially violent crime, is the most important consideration, in the wake of a criminal act. There are surely some victims of violent crime that would best served psychologically if they could engage in some personal retribution, but that isn't a good reason to let a rape victim castrate a rapist, or to let the family of a murder victim decide if the murderer should be executed, or or let the victim of battery decide whether a batterer should serve 1 or 2 years in prison.

The purpose of criminal and civil law is to serve society best. Yes, the views of a person subjected to criminal behavior should certainly be considered, but it is not the paramount consideration.

115 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

In cases like these, I believe the criminal is only dangerous to the victim and to potential future partners, and convicted felons could maybe be forced to disclose their conviction to future partners. What's best for the victim should definitely be considered if it's constructive for all parties involved. Even those who believe the purpose of justice is vengeance would have a tough one with this case, since all vengeance hurts the victim as well.

Counseling for both of them is the no-brainer best solution in a case like this. Psychologically speaking, both of them have a problem and neither jail, nor firings, nor break ups will solve it. Unfortunately, with public opinion as judge and a private corporation as executioner, good luck with this one.

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Who, me?

116 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Well, i think we manage to pull off the dubious feat of using the criminal law to address all manner of behavior which should not be subject to criminal law, or using criminal law to imprison people who should not be imprisoned, even if the behavior should be considered criminal, while far too often treating violent criminal behavior entirely too leniently.

My sense of it is that somebody who strikes another with a punch like Rice did, and can't make a credible case of self defense, should be looking at at least two years in prison, and maybe more. If controlling your temper is so damned hard, then I guess you better stay away from people altogether.

117 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

You are constructing a straw man argument. I said that the well-being of the victim should be the primary concern. That is not the same thing as saying that the victim should be given carte blanche to select any punishment that strikes them as appropriate. Rather, my basic point was that any punishment which leaves the victim worse off should almost always be rejected out of hand, as it is counterproductive from the standpoint of justice.

I disagree that the interests of an abstraction ("society") should trump the interests of the person who was actually damaged by the conduct in question.

118 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I'm sorry, but to assert that "What is best for the victim is the most important consideration" means something, because "most important" is a very strong categorization. Yes, you just stated if what is best for the rape victim is to be allowed to castrate the rapist, then that should be given the most important consideration. I think it odd that you consider the large group of human beings, known as society, to be an abstraction. They look like actual people to me.

120 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

He said "is the most important consideration", not "is the only consideration" or "is a consideration that should be honored, no matter what".

To use a football example, if you have the ball at your opponents' thirty yard-line, in a sudden-death situation, the most important consideration is to not commit a turnover. That doesn't mean, however, you should just kick the field goal immediately. That's because there are other considerations, such as gaining more yardage to make the field goal easier.

121 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

He said it was the most important consideration, which means we would have give very serious thought to allowing such acts of retribution, instead of dismissing them out of hand. The word "most" means something.

The purpose of law is not to serve the interests of any single individual, no matter how wronged they are.

135 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Eddo is exactly right. Your initial interpretation of my comment was a reach, I then clarified exactly what I meant, and yet you insist on clinging to your initial misinterpretation. This is a textbook case of straw man argumentation.

119 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

> "Rather, my basic point was that any punishment which leaves the victim worse off should almost always be rejected out of hand, as it is counterproductive from the standpoint of justice."

I'm not convinced that the punishment here leaves Janay Rice worse off. She thinks it does, but that's not necessarily the case. (The couple should already have plenty of money, and maybe for true rehabilitation Ray Rice really does need a harsh lesson in reality rather than the slap on the wrist he initially received. Not to mention the impression left by the public redemption tour-- a tour which featured the spectacle of Janay apologizing to Ray, a pretty good indication of some serious denial going on.) By this standard, the wishes of many domestic violence victims to leave their partners unpunished would have be honored-- many are-- and we understand the fallacy around that logic. I'm not saying that you're suggesting all this, just to consider the possible merits of the alternative here.

133 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Well, who gets to decide what's best for the victim? There are sadly too many repeat victims of domestic abuse who feel that enduring it is preferable to causing scandal, and in those cases you can't rely on the judgment of the victim. To take a more extreme case, what if someone murders their spouse but no one in the spouse's family wants to press charges even know they know what happened? Maybe everyone is in a tight-knit community and no one wants a large media presence. What's best for the victim in that case?

136 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

The victim gets to decide. I wholly reject the condescending paternalism that is implicit in your comment. The murder analogy is flawed, because a dead person is obviously unable to speak for themselves. In this case, on the other hand, Palmer is not only capable of speaking for herself, but she has done so, and very clearly.

138 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

So what if the aggressor threatens the victim with further violence or other forms of retaliation if the victim speaks out? Are you denying the existence of battered person syndrome and traumatic bonding?

139 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

So what if the aggressor threatens the victim with further violence or other forms of retaliation if the victim speaks out?

If that happens, then the aggressor is guilty of two crimes: assault and intimidation of a witness. However, in this case, I am unaware of any evidence whatsoever to suggest that Rice has threatened or tried to intimidate Palmer.

Are you denying the existence of battered person syndrome and traumatic bonding?

I am denying that Palmer should be treated as if she were a 6-year-old child who needs to be "protected" from her own poor judgment. Adults should be allowed to make their own choices. That does not mean I always agree with those choices.

In fact, in my opinion, her decision to go ahead with the marriage was not a wise one, but that doesn't really matter, since it's not my call. It's her call.

The fact is that people make questionable decisions all the time. If you believe that it's your place to step in and protect those people from themselves, then as I said earlier, that's really the epitome of condescending paternalism.

141 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Again it is simply inaccurate to claim that the recognition of the fact of a left hook to someone's head contains commentary about the nature of the person whose head was struck by the fist.

152 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Adults should be allowed to make their own choices.

Using hard drugs (e.g. cocaine and heroin) is also a choice people make on their own, and in many cases directly harms no one but themselves. Should that also be allowed?

The fact is that people make questionable decisions all the time. If you believe that it's your place to step in and protect those people from themselves, then as I said earlier, that's really the epitome of condescending paternalism.

It depends on the decision in question. If the adult is not of sound mind then they should be protected from themselves, and many domestic abuse victims are not of sound mind.

I want to know, what if Palmer had said nothing at all? That is, what if she neither chose to press charges nor requested that they be left alone? What should the appropriate move be in that situation?

Second, what if in the next few days Palmer continued to insist that they be left alone, but showed obvious evidence of further battering? Should we respect her wishes and ignore the subsequent abuse?

That last question ties into this:

However, in this case, I am unaware of any evidence whatsoever to suggest that Rice has threatened or tried to intimidate Palmer.

If there was, then what? Would you then reverse your position and insist that further pain be inflicted upon Palmer in the form of punishing Rice by an intrusive trial? Or would you balance that out with the potential pain that Palmer might have inflicted on her in the future?

163 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Using hard drugs (e.g. cocaine and heroin) is also a choice people make on their own, and in many cases directly harms no one but themselves. Should that also be allowed?

Absolutely (with the one caveat I'm just about to mention).

It depends on the decision in question. If the adult is not of sound mind then they should be protected from themselves, and many domestic abuse victims are not of sound mind.

Here's the one caveat. If someone is mentally incompetent (due to severe mental illness, major brain damage, etc.), to the extent that they are truly incapable of determining what's in their own best interest, then they should not be allowed to make any decisions. They should either be under the care of a legal guardian, or failing that, institutionalized. Otherwise, they should be free to make their own decisions, and that answer applies to all your hypotheticals. If Palmer is of sound mind, and capable of living on her own, then she should be allowed to make those decisions for herself, even if you (or I) find her decisions to be poor ones.

This is (ostensibly) a free country, and part of freedom is being free to make choices that others disagree with. To say people should be free to make their own choices, but only as long as most people agree with those choices, is like saying you support freedom of speech, as long as you agree with what's being said.

174 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

And who gets to determine whether someone is mentally incompetent, or whether someone needs to be tested for mental competency? There are many that would say that refusing to press charges in the face of continued abuse is a form of mental incompetence (this is referring to my hypothetical, not to Palmer), and that they are in fact incapable of determining what's in their own best interest.

To say people should be free to make their own choices, but only as long as most people agree with those choices, is like saying you support freedom of speech, as long as you agree with what's being said.

Just as freedom of speech has its limits, so do the choices people are allowed to make. The freedom to make choices comes with the freedom to take the consequences, and sometimes that consequence is legal punishment. For instance, people are allowed to strip naked in a public area if they accept that they'll be arrested for it.

178 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

There are many that would say that refusing to press charges in the face of continued abuse is a form of mental incompetence (this is referring to my hypothetical, not to Palmer), and that they are in fact incapable of determining what's in their own best interest.

I'm not really interested in red herring hypotheticals. If your claim is that Palmer is mentally incompetent, I disagree, and challenge you to provide any proof of this, other than the question-begging claim that, "Since she won't press charges, she's clearly insane." If, on the other hand, you admit she is capable of making numerous other decisions with potentially life-altering consequences, then the burden of proof is on you to show why this one particular decision is any different.

140 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

So, in other words, a person who serially raped a now-adult female, impregnating her several times when she was below the age of consent, would be free to threaten other children, if the now-adult female decided to not testify.

I'll note again that the violation of law is an empirical fact, independent of any action, or any preference, by a person who experienced consequences due to the violation of the law, and it is impossible for the recognition of an objective fact to be paternalistic or condescending. It makes no more sense to say that a woman as described above was being treated in a condescending way, if the state decides to try her rapist, than it would be condescending to recognize that she is a U.S. citizen. Facts can't be paternalistic or condescending.

142 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

So, in other words, a person who serially raped a now-adult female, impregnating her several times when she was below the age of consent, would be free to threaten other children, if the now-adult female decided to not testify.

Jeez, yet another straw man argument. Of course he wouldn't be free to threaten other children. Threatening other children is a crime in and of itself, regardless of what that person did in the past.

I'll note again that the violation of law is an empirical fact, independent of any action, or any preference, by a person who experienced consequences due to the violation of the law, and it is impossible for the recognition of an objective fact to be paternalistic or condescending. It makes no more sense to say that a woman as described above was being treated in a condescending way, if the state decides to try her rapist, than it would be condescending to recognize that she is a U.S. citizen. Facts can't be paternalistic or condescending.

No, facts can't be, but the decision of how to respond to those facts certainly can. Look, I'm not denying that what Rice did was wrong. The question is whether he should be punished, and if so, how he should be punished. My answer to that question is that whatever punishment he receives should not include anything that further harms Palmer. It is simply inconceivable to me that your idea of justice involves inflicting further pain on the victim. Hasn't she been through enough? Does she really deserve to suffer more, just so you and "society" can get your pound of flesh from Rice?

146 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I meant threaten in the general sense of people who rape children are threats to children who have not been raped, due to the compulsive nature of the behavior.

For the life of me, I cannot conceive of how your brain has decided that a large group of human beings known as society is an abstraction. It is a large group of living human beings. Yes, it is legitimate for prosecutors to consider the narrow interests of a person subjected to criminal behavior, but that is not the only interests to be considered. The criminal law is not a private contract between two individuals.

148 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

I meant threaten in the general sense of people who rape children are threats to children who have not been raped, due to the compulsive nature of the behavior.

By this logic, no one convicted of rape should ever be let out of prison, for fear of the possibility that they might do it again. The purpose of the legal system is to dispense justice, not to make sure that no one ever commits a crime in the future.

For the life of me, I cannot conceive of how your brain has decided that a large group of human beings known as society is an abstraction. It is a large group of living human beings. Yes, it is legitimate for prosecutors to consider the narrow interests of a person subjected to criminal behavior, but that is not the only interests to be considered. The criminal law is not a private contract between two individuals.

Society is an abstraction, in the sense that it makes no sense to speak of the "interests" of society. "Society" is a blanket term for a group composed of many individuals, each of whom have their own interests. Many times the interests of some members of society conflict with those of others. Furthermore, in many cases, such as this one, many people, such as myself, really have no concrete interest in the outcome. Whatever is done to Rice (be it nothing, the death penalty, or anything in between) won't have any tangible effect on my life, or that of the overwhelming majority of other individuals that make up "society". However, it will have a huge effect on Palmer's life, and that should be the primary consideration.

Look at it this way: Why is assault a crime in the first place? Because of the negative effect it has on the victim. In fact, what is the basis for your claim that rapists constitute a grave threat to society? Because any member of "society" could potentially be a victim of the rapist, and could potentially be harmed by the rapist. Right? But in the case of Palmer, we are not talking about a potential victim who might conceivably be harmed, but rather, an actual victim who has been harmed. To insist that this actual victim should now suffer further harm, just for the sake of reducing the chance that any other potential victim might potentially be harmed by Rice in the future, is beyond bizarre. It's downright perverse, and makes me strongly suspect that your actual motivation is not justice, nor even deterrence, but rather vengeance. Rice must pay dearly, simply to satisfy your own sense of right and wrong, regardless of the actual effects of such punishment on the lives of others.

150 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

By this logic, no one convicted of rape should ever be let out of prison, for fear of the possibility that they might do it again. The purpose of the legal system is to dispense justice, not to make sure that no one ever commits a crime in the future.

There is quite a lot of evidence that other than the cost, this is the best choice available for serial rapists. As it is, the justice system requires them to be continually tracked after they get released, to make sure that they don't commit a crime in the future.

To insist that this actual victim should now suffer further harm

I'm guessing this further harm you're referring to is the unwanted media presence and the loss of salary and employment by her husband? But that occurs for every single domestic abuse victim out there if the abuser is indicted (as well as the digging up of sordid facts between the two), and is one of the main reasons why many choose to remain silent. Are groups that encourage abuse victims to speak up also trying to get them to suffer further harm?

151 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

The purpose of the legal system is to dispense justice, not to make sure that no one ever commits a crime in the future.

To an extent. The legal system has a few intertwined purposes, one of which is justice and one of which is deterrence. Whether those should form part of its purpose is, of course, open to debate, as is its efficacy in performing either function, but I'm not sure an argument that the legal system doesn't attempt to deter behaviour (for a less emotionally-charged example, by traffic fines) would stand up to scrutiny.

For what it's worth, I agree that in this specific instance it appears not to be in the interests of Janay Rice to further punish her husband for an incident which both of them apparently deeply regret. I'm not convinced that it's really in the interests of society either -- it's difficult for me to see any way that further punishing Ray Rice makes Baltimore, Maryland, America, or the world a safer place. Deterrent value? Well, maybe, but I don't think most people who encounter an urge to punch their significant other are going to be influenced one way or the other by what happens to some rich and famous guy they've never met.

It should, though, be clarified that what is truly in the best interests of the victim is not always what the victim thinks is in her* best interests. I have at least two female relatives who I know for a fact have abusive partners: one emotionally and psychologically, one physically. Both have children to those partners, want to stay with those partners, and would be devastated if their partners were appropriately punished for their abuse. It would still be in the interests of both to see said partners punished, even if it might cause them and their young families more discomfort in the short term. There does need to be a balance between what the victim wants, and what is best for her and those around her; the woman saying "I don't want him punished" is not, in isolation, a good enough reason not to punish the abusive male. I therefore don't accept that it is unreasonably paternalistic for me, as their relative, to say that these women need to get out of the situation they're in, and to desire that their partners be punished for the abuse even if the victims of said abuse protest otherwise. (It's not like-for-like, of course; the above refers to repeated abuse over a period of time, not to an isolated incident. I'm not aware of any evidence that Ray Rice has assaulted Janay more than once.)

I do therefore think it's oversimplifying to say that what the victim wants is necessarily paramount, but agree that it's also oversimplifying to say that the interests of society at large take precedence. Sometimes, society is best served by allowing adults to work out their differences without external interference. Sometimes, the best interests of an individual are the opposite of what the individual wants. Sometimes, we're damned if we do and damned if we don't. Happy times.

So, anybody else planning to watch Jaguars - Redskins?

* I'm using gender-specific pronouns for ease of language, and because of the specific incident under discussion. The same applies to men who are abused by women.

153 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

This is a very good description of my position as well. I think that at this point the media attention is doing Palmer more harm than good, and if the worst that happened between them was that punch then Rice doesn't need to be punished further. I just don't see a need to acquiesce to the apparent wishes of the victim in every situation.

164 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Sometimes, the best interests of an individual are the opposite of what the individual wants.

The problem with this line of thought is that people make "poor" decisions (by which I mean decisions that other people consider to be poor) all the time. It happens literally millions of times a day. I have made tons of "poor" decisions, and I'm sure you probably have, too.

For example, I tend to eat a very unhealthy diet. I eat too much, and most of it is junk food. Even though I exercise quite a bit, I'm still overweight, with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Other people I know drink far more than they should, while others spend way too much on frivolous items, and incur large amounts of debt. All these things are almost certainly unwise, will probably have very bad long-term consequences, and could very well be argued to be against our best interests. Does that mean that the law should step in and prohibit all these behaviors? What about less serious things, like failing to get proper exercise, or not saving away for retirement? These things are also probably unwise, and against people's best interests. Should they be criminalized? If not, who decides where to draw the line, and what are the criteria that are used?

People have to be free to pursue their best interests, as they see them. If the law tried to step in and prevent even a fraction of the "self-destructive" behavior people engage in (by which I mean behavior that many other people view as self-destructive), the result would be nothing short of totalitarianism.

173 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Does that mean that the law should step in and prohibit all these behaviors?

The law has already stepped in to tax many of these behaviors, like cigarettes, and requiring people to buy health insurance.

Should they be criminalized? If not, who decides where to draw the line, and what are the criteria that are used?

Well, the government gets to draw the line, because they enforce the laws. The criteria used appear to be that choices that have a high chance of causing great or immediate harm are punished the most, which is why eating unhealthily is not punished but using drugs is.

179 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Well, the government gets to draw the line, because they enforce the laws. The criteria used appear to be that choices that have a high chance of causing great or immediate harm are punished the most, which is why eating unhealthily is not punished but using drugs is.

Really? So you are claiming that smoking marijuana (which is illegal at the federal level, and in 48 of the 50 states) is more dangerous than eating 10,000 calories of junk food a day, or engaging in unprotected sex with a dozen different people every day, both of which are 100% legal in every state?

175 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

If the law tried to step in and prevent even a fraction of the "self-destructive" behavior people engage in (by which I mean behavior that many other people view as self-destructive), the result would be nothing short of totalitarianism.

Whereas in your ideal world, people are allowed to do anything they want to another person short of murder as long as they can bribe, threaten or in any other fashion force the victim not to press charges, even if there's clear evidence of the crime, as long as the victim appears to be mentally sound. That's nothing short of anarchy.

180 Re: Ravens Release Ray Rice

Bribe? If you mean that it should be legal for someone to agree to accept an agreed upon sum of money to not press charges, then yes, it should. In fact, this happens all the time. It's called an out-of-court settlement.

As for threats, I thought I already explained that if someone commits a crime against you, and then threatens you, they have now committed a second crime (intimidation of a witness) and the logical response would be to press charges against them on both counts. However, if someone chooses not to do so, then yes, that's their business.

In any case, I don't see how either of those things constitutes anarchy, although given the choice, I would certainly prefer anarchy over totalitarianism.