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September 08, 2014

Camera Surveillance Footage Shows Ray Rice Knocking Out His Wife With One Punch

The video is herky-jerky, and it's hard to see what happened. I don't even see the punch.

But what I can see is his wife's body being knocked into the wall (actually, it looks like her head hits the steel waist-level railing in the elevator car) and rag-dolling to the floor.

There are some questions about why Ray Rice only received a two-game suspension for this, when others have been suspended four games for substance abuse.

There was a tweet -- I would attribute it, but I forget who said it -- which darkly joked about NFL Commissioner Goddell's punishments for domestic abuse, versus their punishments for drug abuse.

NFL Lawyer: A player got arrested for poppin' Mollie

Goddelo: Two game suspension

NFL Lawyer: "Mollie" is a drug

Goddell: Okay, four games

This certainly appears to be a major, dangerous assault which, frankly, might have wound up as a murder if the woman's head had struck the steel railing a bit more unfortunately. When you knock someone's head into motion this hard, an awful lot of bad things can happen.

Goddell is now proposing two punishments for domestic abuse: first offense, six game suspension; second offense, lifetime ban.

Honestly I think there have to be increasing penalties in there. I don't support the "lifetime ban" for a second offense, not because I don't think domestic abuse isn't terrible (I do), but because what happens, always, when you threaten a draconian penalty is that it becomes more theoretical than actual, and there will be tremendous pressure to almost never impose that threatened lifetime ban.

It will lead to cover-ups and hair-splitting as to what constitutes "abuse."

Meanwhile, an intermediate penalty -- a year suspension, let's say -- would be much more frequently imposed, and would have therefore a much stronger deterrent effect. (Studies have shown that it's not the severity of the crime that deters criminals, but rather the probability of detection and punishment -- that is, it's not how many years you're threatening to lock 'em up for, but now likely it is you'll convict them and lock them up at all.)

Update: Per Twitter -- Greg Aiello's account is verified, and the page identifies him as "NFL PR."

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posted by Ace at 02:03 PM

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