Critics are questioning how suspended NFL running back Ray Rice was accepted into a New Jersey pre-trial intervention program that if completed, would help dismiss the charges against him based on a Feb. 15 incident in an Atlantic City casino, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The move got fresh criticism yesterday when TMZ released a video that shows Rice striking Janay Palmer, now his wife, in the head and knocking her to the floor. Hours after the video surfaced, and anger exploded on social media, the Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice’s contract.
Those accepted into the program have typically committed minor crimes like theft or drug possession. “Crimes of violence are generally crimes that we shy away from,” said Kathy Boyle, who runs the program. After examining Rice’s incident and more than a dozen other factors, including the victim’s wishes and the suspect’s criminal history, Boyle’s staff approved Rice for the program. New Jersey Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera, vice chair of the Women and Children Committee, was among those raising questions about how the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office handled Rice’s case. “After seeing this very graphic video of the events that had previously been reported, it’s all the more puzzling as to how the county prosecutor reached a decision that Pre-Trial Intervention was the appropriate course of discipline in this case,” Mosquera said. “It’s confounding, actually.”