I mentioned in an earlier blog that I don’t necessarily agree that there is some evidence that now suggests Stewart is in some way culpable for what happened at Canandaigua Motorsports Park last month. That Stewart is a celebrity opens for discussion the “special treatment” card. If the Ontario County District Attorney had simply stated there was not enough evidence to proceed with a criminal case against Stewart, there could be political consequences from those would scream white wash. If he chose to prosecute an incredibly difficult case others would cry that he is trying to make a name for himself. By turning the information over to a confidential grand jury he can avoid either of those charges-it is the grand jury’s decision, not his to prosecute or not prosecute.
Videos of the Stewart/Ward tragedy are open to interpretation. Fans who well know the nuances of racing may see something entirely different than investigators who do not know racing, even though they are looking at the same video. There is no interpreting the Ray Rice video. His wife did not hit his fist with her face. Adrian Peterson’s son did not ask to be beaten with a stick. Again there is nothing to interpret, like with the Stewart incident. No one from NASCAR has lied about the incident, as it appears the NFL Commissioner may have liked about the Rice video.
In the NFL cases, charges have been made. With Stewart, no charges have been filed. If grand jury proceedings lead to an indictment, then I agree that Stewart should be suspended until a trial is concluded. If there is a trial and he is found guilty of whatever charge, well, I would leave the decision on what to do with someone in the Brian France pay grade. Short of Stewart telling law enforcement officials “I only meant to scare him,” Otherwise, I do not see how the incident can be viewed as anything other than a tragic accident though.
I do hope the grand jury will proceed expeditiously. As I have said a number of times, I don’t think this is a criminal matter, but I do think that some type of civil suit settlement needs to be made. If I don’t think Stewart is guilty of a crime, obviously I cannot see him sentenced to prison. Something like that could drag on indefinitely-he obviously has the resources to hire attorneys capable of delays and appeals and more delays and appeals.
For Stewart, ending this investigation is a step in the healing process. For the Ward family, I am not sure if healing is possible. A son was lost, a brother was lost. A life that was important to them is no longer there. To have this play out in the media day after day seems like they are being forced to relive that terrible night again and again and again. As I said, I don’t see Stewart going to prison, so don’t put the Wards through a show trial. Instead get past these proceedings and let him do something for the Ward family in memory of their son.
Thanks for stopping by.