Ray Rice and the Suspension Heard Around the Football World

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I enjoyed watching the Detroit Lions Monday night. They looked like a new team. Quarterback Matthew Stafford was on top of his game as he improvised and threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter. Calvin Johnson, Jr., aka “Megatron”, was at his best. He caught those two touchdowns in the first quarter giving Detroit something to smile about.

What was even more exciting was how the Lions didn’t give up in the fourth quarter. Instead, they held on for the win with the Detroit Lions, 35 and the New York Giants, 14. Jim Caldwell did well in his first game as coach.

You couldn’t have watched the Lions game on Monday night and not hear about Ray Rice, his release from the Baltimore Ravens, and his indefinite suspension from the NFL.

We had already known that he was going to be suspended for two games after being arrested for third-degree aggravated assault charges back in February.

What Is Third-Degree Aggravated Assault?

If you are not sure what third-degree aggravated assault charges look like, I’ll start by answering in legal terms.

Assault, also known as simple assault, is when there is a threat or an attempt to inflict an injury on another person. This could mean not actually touching another person or it could be committing bodily harm to another person. A good example would be if someone held up their fist and threaten to punch another person.

Aggravated assault, which is what Rice was charged with, takes assault to the next level. In this case the assailant used a deadly weapon and threatened bodily harm.

Third-degree, along with fourth degree, is one of two of the lesser degrees. This means the assailant meant to commit “significant” bodily harm instead of serious bodily harm.

Penalties for Aggravated Assault

There is a range on the penalties for aggravated assault. Penalties could include anything from misdemeanors to felonies. Fines for this conviction could range from $150 – $10,000. Jail time could run from four months to 15 years in prison.

Other penalties also include jail time, probation, electronic monitoring, fines, court ordered anger management classes, restitution for the victim, and loss of the right to own a firearm.

Ray Rice’s Aggravated Assault

The incident took place on February 15th at the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. According to ESPN, Rice and his fiancée (now wife), Janay Palmer were both arrested and charged with simple assault charges. The police report indicated that both parties “struck each other with their hands.” However, neither party reported having suffered any serious injuries. Later, Palmer’s charges were dropped.

Only a few days later was it revealed by TMZ that Rice had dragged Palmer’s limp body out of an elevator leading the public to believe that the injuries may have been more serious.

In March, one day after Rice was charged with aggravated assault, he and Palmer were married.

Rice pleaded not guilty in May to aggravated assault and applied to a pre-trial intervention program. At the end of May, Rice was accepted into the pre-trial program and avoided prosecution. This allowed for the charge to be dismissed after he completed a yearlong intervention program.

In July, a two game suspension was announced for Rice by the NFL. Due to the public outcry, the NFL announced new and harsher punishments for domestic violence incidents at the end of August.

On Monday September 8th, a video of the altercation was released by TMZ. In the video, we see Ray Rice knocking out Janay Palmer. Hours later, Ray Rice was released from his contract with the Baltimore Ravens and then indefinitely suspended from the NFL.

What Do You Think?

What do you think of the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens’ response to the domestic violence committed by Ray Rice? How much does the video sway your opinion on what happened and what should the punishment be?

Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.