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

Correctional Services.

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

thigh.

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,

Foglia said.

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.