Packers Jolly gets six-year sentence

Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly was sentenced and it is a potential career ender. This is soul crushing for a player that teammate Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers said deserved help, not punishment.

Jolly, shown in his mugshot here, was sentenced to six years in prison for violation of the terms of his probation that kept him out of jail after an April drug conviction. After a traffic stop in July, the player’s vehicle was found to contain a gun, marijuana and cups that had residue of a substance that included codeine, Jolly’s drug of choice.

Jolly was given this six-year term. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the mother, aunt, agent and drug counselor pleaded with the judge to sentence him to a treatment facility.

Prosecutor Tracy Bennett told the court, “He had a gun; he was headed to a strip club. That’s not somebody that’s really trying to change the way they live or trying to learn from their past mistakes.”

While Jolly and his witnesses described him as a man trying to control his addiction to codeine, there was no doubt that he was in violation of what is called a deferred prosecution agreement after the earlier April arrest.

The NFL prevented Jolly from being around the Packers club and his teammates while waiting for the outcome of this week’s hearing.

By the end of that day, the judge followed the prosecution’s recommendation that he be put away for his own good and that of the community after his third drug arrest in three years.

The Associated Press quoted Jolly’s attorney who admitted that while her client had spent two months in rehab after his second arrest, he hadn’t acknowledged his addiction until after the July arrest.

There is a possibility that the sentence will be reduced to about a year and some change but that decision won’t be made until December. Either way it’s another example of a successful pro athlete succumbing to drugs and squashing his career.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

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