Legal experts are saying that Chris Brown agreed to “a pretty tough deal,” but others think he got off easy.
Chris was given the choice of spending 180 days in jail or working 180 days of labor service in his home state of Virginia. The singer opted out of serving hard time, but lawyer Peter T. Haven said that jail may have been an easier punishment for pleading guilty to felony assault charges.
"It sounds good on the surface — no jail time — but in many respects, it’s a pretty tough deal," he told MTV News. "Labor service is not gonna be easy. You have to get up super-early, you have to be there almost before the sun comes up and work until 2 or 3 [p.m.].”
Chris also has to enroll in a 52-week domestic abuse program, which is made up of one two-hour class every week. “He almost gave up a year of his life—that’s an indication that the prosecution probably had a pretty good case and [Chris] really didn’t want to do any jail time,” said Peter.
Of course, Peter also acknowledged that the felony assault case really put in Chris in a lose-lose situation. Also keep in mind that Chris’ days of labor service wouldn’t have to run consecutively, this means that the singer could be working labor service for years.
“If he did jail time as a part of his plea, he probably wouldn’t have served the full term,” the legal expert said. “He would have gotten out earlier and the whole thing would have been done. When you’re in jail, it’s also hard to violate the terms of your probation. When you voluntarily take it upon yourself to take these things on yourself and have to show up yourself, that leaves a lot of room for error."
And it would seem that public opinion sides with Peter’s assessment that jail would have been better for Chris, just not for the same reason. Many of them based their analysis off of the leaked photos of Rihanna’s injuries. “She’s too pretty for that,” one man said.”
"He needs a little jail time. If you seen what he did to her face — that speaks enough,” Shawn Adams told MTV News. “I think he really needs to learn a lesson.”
But, seeing as how Chris opted to work labor service, Ciara Griffin offered her suggestion on how that part of the plea deal should be carried out.
"I would put him on every street in America at different times, in the public eye, cleaning up garbage and getting as much abuse as he deserves off people because I think he really deserves the worst," she said. "How dare he do that to Rihanna! She’s such a strong woman!"
– Sonya Eskridge