The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Rochelle Olson, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Benched Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson will plead not guilty in a Texas courtroom Wednesday to a felony child abuse charge. Peterson was indicted Sept. 12 on a charge of child endangerment, accused of striking his 4-year-old son with a switch — a tree branch with the leaves removed — so badly that the boy had bruises and scars days after the incident in Texas.
What happens today? Peterson must appear at a hearing in Conroe, Texas. His lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said Peterson will plead not guilty.
Why not guilty? Peterson has admitted hitting the child, but contends it was intended as discipline, not to injure the child.
What could happen? It depends on what the judge wants, according to Montgomery County prosecutor Phil Grant. Judge Kelly Case may order discovery, or the collection and sharing of information. He could impose restrictions on Peterson’s activities while awaiting trial. He could also set boundaries for media contact. The judge will set a schedule for how the case proceeds from here. Closed-door plea discussions are possible at any time, but those wouldn’t be public until or unless a deal is made.
How soon will he go to trial? A trial date could be scheduled later this year. A date soon would be “highly unusual,” Grant said. Usually, cases in which the defendant is in jail are tried before those in which the defendant is free, such as Peterson, who posted $15,000 bond last month, Grant said. But the judge has discretion to schedule cases. Lawyers have previously said they expected a trial in 2015.
Will he be back to play for the Vikings this season? If he were to plead or be found guilty, he would probably be required to serve an immediate NFL-imposed suspension for a number of games.
Will he go to prison? If found guilty, the presumptive sentence is two years. But first-time offenders rarely go to prison.
What is he doing now? He is in Texas, occasionally tweeting from his account, @AdrianPeterson. He is on the NFL commissioner’s exempt list and not playing. He still collects his $11 million salary.

AFP Photo/Dilip Vishwanat

Want more national news and analysis? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Sen. Bernie Sanders, left, and President Joe Biden during 2020 presidential debate

I look at September 2019 as a month where I missed something. We began with a trip to New York to do Seth Meyers’s and Dr. Oz’s shows. Why would we go on The Dr. Oz Show? For the same reason we had gone on Joe Rogan’s podcast in August: We could reach a vast audience that wasn’t paying attention to the standard political media. On Dr. Oz, Bernie could talk about Medicare for All and his own physical fitness. While at the time we believed Bernie was uncommonly healthy for his age, he was still 78. Questions would be raised related to his age, and we needed to begin building up the case that he was completely healthy and fit. It turned out to be a spectacular interview, ending with the two of them playing basketball on a makeshift court in the studio. Bernie appeared to be on top of the world.

Yet in retrospect, I should have seen Bernie growing more fatigued. After New York, with the school year starting, we did a series of rallies at colleges and universities in Iowa; this was the kickoff of our campus organizing program in the state. We would then fly to Colorado for a large rally in Denver before heading to Boulder to prep for the third debate, to take place in Houston on September 12. In Iowa, Bernie’s voice was a little hoarse. After the rally in Denver, he had completely blown it out. He sounded terrible.

Keep reading... Show less

Rep. James Clyburn

When I interviewed House Majority Whip James Clyburn in 2014 about his memoir Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black, the South Carolina Democrat was confident in America’s ability to find its way, no matter how extreme the political swings might appear at any given time.

“The country from its inception is like the pendulum on a clock,” the congressman told me. “It goes back and forward. It tops out to the right and starts back to the left — it tops out to the left and starts back to the right.” And remember, he said, it “spends twice as much time in the center.”

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}