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April 20, 2014

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Should Mayweather’s $100K donation have come up in court?

The boxer’s sentence postponement comes after promising a major give

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Tom Donoghue/DonoghuePhotography.com

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Victor Ortiz at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sept. 17, 2011. Mayweather won the fight with a controversial KO in the fourth round.

Local boxer Floyd Mayweather recently donated $100,000 to Nevada’s chapter of Susan Komen for the Cure, the breast cancer organization that invests in research, education, advocacy and health services. Mayweather made this donation just days after his prison sentence was pushed backward, so he could fight on May 5th.

And speaking of fighting: Remember when Mayweather pled guilty to battering his girlfriend? And remember when, in court, his attorney promised that Mayweather would donate $100,000 to Komen?

Well, when Judge Melissa Saragosa pushed back Maywether’s sentence—not everybody gets their prison sentences delayed, you know—she didn’t mention the promised donation. But, obviously, it was on her mind. And here’s why that’s problematic: We don’t want rich people getting favorable treatment by courts.

Donating to charity is wonderful, and people should do it more often … but, I’m not sure you should be allowed to talk about it in court. Not when you’re a defendant in a criminal case and the donation is unconnected to the crime. (Similar to the way a civil plaintiff’s attorney can’t mention that a defendant has insurance—it’s legally irrelevant, but has the potential to bias the trial’s outcome or sentencing.)

All parties involved (Mayweather, Mayweather’s attorney, Nevada’s judges) would say that the donation was not a factor in the sentence postponement. But let's be honest: The judge is only human.

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