Burress seeks furlough, NY prosecutors to oppose
Former Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress wants to get a break from
prison, but prosecutors said Tuesday they will likely try to block
his bid for work release because he hasn’t served enough time.
The former New York Giant applied for a work furlough – which
would let him spend some portion of his time at home – on Nov. 25,
about two months into his two-year sentence for carrying an
unlicensed gun that went off and wounded him at a Manhattan
nightclub. State prison system officials are expected to decide on
his request next month.
Prosecutors said the bullet narrowly missed a security guard,
and they insisted on at least a two-year prison term. A quick
furlough would send “a very bad message,” Manhattan Chief
Assistant District Attorney Mark Dwyer said Tuesday.
“It’s too early,” he said.
Burress’ lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, declined to comment.
Statistically, Burress’ effort is a long shot. Less than 5
percent of the more than 31,500 work release applications statewide
were granted last year, according to the state Department of
Under state law, inmates convicted of nonviolent offenses can
apply for work furloughs within two years of their release dates.
Burress pleaded guilty in August to a form of attempted criminal
possession of a weapon that allows him to be eligible for work
release, state corrections spokeswoman Linda Foglia said.
Officials deciding on furloughs weigh factors including the
inmate’s crime, his prison behavior and any opposition to the
release, she said.
Burress, then a Giants receiver, was at the Latin Quarter
nightclub in November 2008 with a .40-caliber gun tucked into his
waistband. He later said he was concerned for his safety because a
teammate had been held up at gunpoint elsewhere days before. The
weapon slipped down Burress’ leg and fired, injuring his right
The gun wasn’t licensed in New York or New Jersey, where Burress
lived; his Florida concealed-weapons permit had expired.
Sentenced in September, Burress is now being held in protective
custody at an upstate prison because of his notoriety.
Inmates on work release generally get to spend several days and
nights each week out of prison working and reconnecting with their
families; the exact arrangements vary for each inmate. Some are
allowed out full-time for the last few months of their sentence,
It’s unclear what work Burress, 32, might do if given a
furlough. The Giants released him in April, and the NFL has
suspended him for the duration of his sentence.
Burress, who caught the Giants’ winning touchdown over the New
England Patriots in the final minute of the 2008 Super Bowl, has
said he hopes to play again.