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Let’s not convict Milton Bradley in the court of public opinion just yet

Jan 19, 2011, 6:00 AM EDT

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As reported last night, Milton Bradley is in some big-time legal trouble as a result of allegedly making threats of bodily harm and/or death against an unidentified female. The charges under California Penal Code section 422 are felony charges, and if they are borne out, he could end up doing time.

It’s important to remember, however, that the law Bradley is charged with violating carries a subjective element. Specifically, the victim had to have taken the threat seriously at the time and had to have been placed “in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family’s safety.”

We have no idea about the facts of this case and in no way am I either doubting or buying his accuser’s allegations. However, because of the subjectivity of it — because it relies on the victim’s own words about what she felt at a specific time as opposed to eyewitness accounts or evidence of physical harm —  it’s a law that can lend itself to specious claims more easily than others. If this were merely a case of Milton Bradley rolling his eyes at someone and breezily saying “One of these days, Alice, bang-zoom, to the moon!” I’m assuming that the police would not have made an arrest. And of course, Milton Bradley has a long and colorful history with anger management issues.

That said, despite his personal history, let’s give Bradley the benefit of the doubt before convicting him in the court of public opinion, OK?  We simply don’t know enough at this time to say anything intelligent about the merits of the claim. Really, we don’t know anything.

  1. writtenbyross - Jan 19, 2011 at 6:20 AM

    His history of anger management issues is a perfect reason not to convict him until proven guilty. It would be very easy for the right person to get back at him through a charge like this knowing not many would question the plausibility of it.

  2. largebill - Jan 19, 2011 at 6:44 AM

    There is a corollary to the “innocent until proven guilty” adage called “mocked until proven innocent.” None of us are going to serve on his jury so it really doesn’t matter if someone cracks a joke such as “Wow, Milton’s already in mid-season shape.” Actually, mid season form for him would be to go on the DL.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 19, 2011 at 6:46 AM

      Absolutely: mock away. The man has certainly earned it.

      • Old Gator - Jan 19, 2011 at 8:47 AM

        Okay, so he’s innocent until proven guilty of threatening her, but that doesn’t mean we have to hold off of accusing him of steroid use, does it?

        And when do we actually get to see those director’s cut Honeymooners episodes where Ralph finally hauls off and lets her have it? It wouldn’t be quite the same thing if we had to wait for the remake and watch John Goodman to unload on Minnie Driver.

      • Old Gator - Jan 19, 2011 at 11:45 AM

        Another thought: we could call the remake Honeymooners II: Once Were Bus Drivers.”

  3. The Rabbit - Jan 19, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    Via e-mail, my ex threatened to kill an ex-girlfriend multiple times a day.
    You’d think he would fit CA Code 422 perfectly; however, he was actually charged with making terroristic threats on the internet. This was before the 9/11 and the fine was $500..and it wasn’t a felony.

    • Jonny 5 - Jan 19, 2011 at 12:44 PM

      Rabbit! Hey, so you’re a lady….. I apologize for being crude below. I will amend my ways.

      • The Rabbit - Jan 19, 2011 at 2:12 PM

        Hi Jonny,
        Yes, I’m very female; however, “lady” (as generally accepted) would not be a term to which I have ever aspired.
        No apology is ever necessary…I can be crude, sarcastic, ironic, sophomoric, and funny which may be why most of my friends are men.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 19, 2011 at 4:14 PM

        That’s awesome, thanks. I really don’t want to change anyway. What a relief. ;)

  4. larryhockett - Jan 19, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    But we have to offer critical opinions based on little or no actual knowledge of the subject matter. Isn’t that what internet forums were invented for?

    • Old Gator - Jan 19, 2011 at 11:57 AM

      That’s what they’ve turned into, certainly, but they were invented for sober, factually substantiated, responsible and respectful exchanges of ideas and opinions, like, for example, why is Canadian beaver defenistrating, or how quickly does cholesterol plaque from horrible horsemeat and velveeta sandwiches build up in the arteries of a Feelies season ticket holder. Rational and precision discourse is an ideal I attempt to support every time I sit down at my keyboard, as everyone here knows.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 19, 2011 at 12:04 PM

        I hear Canada is loaded with som fine beaver. Who would want to toss THAT away?

      • Utley's Hair - Jan 19, 2011 at 12:12 PM

        Especially the always enjoyable giant inflatable ones.

      • Old Gator - Jan 19, 2011 at 12:13 PM

        That was my impression of it too. But of course, that was before Meech Lake. PC seems to think that beaver is infiltrating major urban areas in Canada. Ergo, part of the problem may be that kids are throwing poutine to beaver, which is sorta the Canadian answer to horrible horsemeat and velveeta sandwiches.

        Then again, they just may be getting tired of whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 19, 2011 at 12:32 PM

        I always throw Keilbasa to any beaver I run across. I always knew those Frenchies were kinda on the funny side. I also don’t see how anyone could get tired of the Chocolate sauce and whip cream either. Strange…..

      • larryhockett - Jan 19, 2011 at 2:02 PM

        Surprisingly, I know nothing of the defenistration of the Canadian beaver. Although in the spirit of the forum that shall not prevent me from declaring your opinions ridiculous, unfounded, downright evil and quite possibly the genesis of the downfall of our very civilization. I demand that you and your ilk be locked up forever so that said beavers can defenistrate to their little hearts’ content without undue interference.

  5. Jonny 5 - Jan 19, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    This for Craig.

    Would it be safe to say that the situation was indeed quite serious due to the fact that bail was set so high? I know a person charged with this, that had bail set much, much, lower. And it was something deemed very serious at the time as it was a death threat.

    • Old Gator - Jan 19, 2011 at 11:59 AM

      I suspect that the bail was set high so that Bradley would injure his Achilles tendon jumping for it, and then the Mariners could collect his salary back from insurance while trying to figure out whether they could get away with voiding his contract.

    • The Rabbit - Jan 19, 2011 at 2:20 PM

      I’m not a lawyer but I would think the purpose of bail would be to try to insure that someone appears for trial, i.e., there would be a significant loss if he/she skips .
      If I were a judge, Milton Bradley or someone with his resources would have higher bail than someone who had to sign over his house and borrow money to make bond.

      PS Now that I have read your other comments, I found them funny. Definitely no apology necessary.

      • clydeserra - Jan 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

        The bail is not high for this charge. It looks like schedule bail to me.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 19, 2011 at 4:19 PM

        Very true, for a moment there I was thinking our judicial system was fair and even without any bias towards those with or without money. What was i thinking? Someone smack me please. And I’m glad no offense was taken. You’re very cool. Or you’re as warped as I am, which is a very rare occurrence i find.

      • The Rabbit - Jan 19, 2011 at 8:33 PM

        @Johnny5
        IMHO The only way to make the “bail system” fair and even is to take “means” into consideration.
        If the bail amount were very high, the rich would able to sit comfortably at home awaiting trial while the working class and poor would be sitting in cells.
        Conversely, if the amount were set too set low (although high enough to force appearance of middle class and poor), the default of bail may not penalize wealthy person who if guilty may consider flight a very reasonable option.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 19, 2011 at 10:51 PM

        I think the bail system is more “effective” than it is fair or even. And I don’t think it was meant to be fair or even at all. Which in the case of bail it can’t be even and still be effective. It favors the poor in the “fairness” dept. But when trial time comes the rich have a huge, and unfair advantage when they hire their “big guns” attorneys to twist and warp the facts until enough doubt exists to acquit. Sad but true. The PD really isn’t nearly as effective and that is a fact, and also very unfair, which favors the rich in the “fairness” dept. We are definately barking up the wrong tree with the choice of vocab in regards to the judicial system. Did I nail it yet? ;) Ha that was fun.

  6. The Rabbit - Jan 19, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    @Johnny5
    I don’t know if I’m cool, but I’ve been told I’m very warped.

  7. The Rabbit - Jan 20, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    On the subject of bail-I suspect there have been studies done and depending on how the stats are sliced and diced, you’ll get conflicting views whether or not the system favors or hurts the poor. I also suspect that the result will be directly related to who paid for and which “think tank” performed the study.
    On the subject of an actual trial- Can’t disagree with you at all. We have the best and fairest justice system money can buy.
    Yeah, you nailed it. :-)

    Try and keep warm…My sis tells me it’s freakin’ cold in Red Lion.

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