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Michael Vick Sentenced to 23 Months

Michael_vick I am outraged.  OUTRAGED.  Washington Post is reporting that Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison Monday for running a "cruel and inhumane" dogfighting ring and lying about it.  Let's keep in mind he admitted to killing 6 to 8 dogs with his bare hands and bank rolling an operation that killed hundreds. In my opinion, he should have been sentenced to the 5 years maximum sentence. 

Or, put in a jail cell with 10 pit bulls trained to fight.  That would be fair.

Although there is no parole in the federal system, rules governing time off for good behavior could reduce Vick's prison stay by about three months, resulting in a summer 2009 release.  My husband is convinced he will be playing football in 2010.

Vick, who turned himself in Nov. 19 in anticipation of his sentence, was wearing a black-and-white striped prison suit.After Vick apologized to the court and his family, Hudson told him: "You need to apologize to the millions of young people who looked up to you."

"Yes, sir," Vick answered. The 27-year-old player acknowledged using "poor judgment" and added, "I'm willing to deal with the consequences and accept responsibility for my actions."

"You were instrumental in promoting, funding and facilitating this cruel and inhumane sporting activity," Hudson told Vick.

Before the hearing, Michael Vick's brother, Marcus Vick, sat with his right arm around their mother, comforting her as she buried her head in her hands and wept.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank called the sentencing another step in Vick's "legal journey."

"This is a difficult day for Michael's family and for a lot of us, including many of our players and fans who have been emotionally invested in Michael over the years," Blank said. "We sincerely hope that Michael will use this time to continue to focus his efforts on making positive changes in his life, and we wish him well in that regard."

Vick was suspended without pay by the NFL and lost all his lucrative endorsement deals. The league had no comment Monday on the judge's ruling.

One of Vick's attorneys, Lawrence Woodward, asked for leniency. He said Vick "grew up on some of probably the meanest and roughest streets in this commonwealth," but had never been in trouble with the law and had done much for charities.

Vick was denied any credit for taking responsibility for his crime. Hudson agreed with a federal probation officer's finding that Vick had lied about his hands-on killing of dogs and about his drug use. Vick tested positive for marijuana Sept. 13, violating conditions of his release while he awaited sentencing.

Hudson recalled that Vick at one point said he only handed over two dogs to co-defendant Quanis Phillips, who killed them. On another occasion, Vick said he dropped a dog after Phillips tied a rope around the animal's neck, the judge added.

I'm not convinced you've fully accepted responsibility," Hudson told Vick.

Federal sentencing guidelines called for a term of 18 months to two years. Federal prosecutor Michael Gill asked for a sentence at the high end, meaning Vick would get more time than either of the two co-defendants sentenced last month.

"He did more than fund it," Hudson said, referring to the "Bad Newz Kennels" dogfighting operation. "He was in this thing up to his neck with the other defendants."

Outside court, Woodward said Vick didn't want anyone feeling sorry for him.

"He just wants a chance to prove himself when all this is over," he said. "But the other thing he said to me, which I also think is important for everyone to know, is that he understood that some of the things he was doing in life and off the field were dangerous, and he told me he feels lucky that he's alive and not hurt and now it's all about the future."

U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg sounded a similar theme.

"This was an efficient, professional, and thorough investigation that well exposed a seamy side of our society," he said in a statement. "I trust Mr. Vick learned important lessons and that his admission of guilt will speed his rehabilitation."

Vick is also in financial ruin. His homes in Atlanta and Virginia have both been put on the market. He also had to pay over $900,000 for the care of 54 pit bulls that were taken from his home.

John Goodwin of the Humane Society of the United States called the sentence appropriate. 

"People that are involved in this blood sport are on notice. You can throw your life away by being involved in this," he said.

Two co-defendants were sentenced Nov. 30. Purnell Peace, of Virginia Beach, got 18 months. Phillips, of Atlanta, got 21 months. Another co-defendant, Tony Taylor, will be sentenced Friday.

 

 







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Comments

Sils

I want him to rot in the deepest part of hell. Reading about this makes me sick.

People who abuse animals, children, the elderly, and disabled get even less pity than the scum who go after people who can try to defend themselves.

I hope the specific ring of hell he winds up in involves a pack of pit bulls eletrocuting, shooting, and hanging him over and over.

amalah

I'm with Sils. Animal abusers are a very special kind of disgusting.

If there was ever a celebrity who really should have been made a very public example of, this guy was it. Grr.

Miss Britt

Here's what outrages me:

How many people are absolutely up and arms about animal cruelty (and don't get me wrong, I'm anti-animal cruelty) - but sit back and say nothing about domestic violence, cruelty against humans, etc. etc. etc.

The amount of celebrities who go unpunished - or walk away with a slap on the wrist - for things like drunk driving (endangering innocent human bystanders), domestic violence, drugs, etc. etc. etc. is appalling.

But no one seems to care near as much about that.

robyn

i'm with miss brit. while i think what vick did was horrible, people spend less time in jail for rape and child molestation, and no one seems up in arms about it. people are boycotting amazon because they sell dogfighting magazines, but don't bat an eyelash at the "barely legal" magazines that are also sold there, and which promote borderline kiddy porn.

i think it's fine to be mad at vick, but at the same time, remember that animals, while amazing creatures, are not humans, and if people are going to get this up in arms about a damn dog (no matter how cruel his killing of them was), then they need to show the same sort of outrage when someone who beats his wife almost to death is given probation, or the rapist that lives on your block is out on parole after only six months.

Liana

Not to mention, people who abuse animals are much more likely to abuse other humans as well- it shows a blatant disregard for the value of other living beings, a complete and utter self-centeredness.
And what bugs me is how often his story changed. If someone can't truly take responsibility for his/her actions, then actually changing the problematic behavior and attitudes that caused the actions is a lot less likely.
Grrr, as well.

bluepaintred

I look at my sweet little pup, at how sad she gets at the slightest sign of our displeasure. Us saying NO about her eating the Christmas tree results in an hour of moping - its incomprehensible!

How can someone hurt without remorse like that? AND if he is capable of hurting a dog, then as well as his pathetically short prison sentence, he should also have a vasectomy - preferably done by a pit bull as mentioned by a comenter above- so that he does not have the oppertunity to hurt a child.

Kaelak

An animal is a living thing, same as a human. Anyone who shows such cruelty and disregard for animal life does cannot value any life.

Why do we always have to one-up each other - "Yes, this was bad, but its just a damn dog - what about people?" Well, the same people who are cruel to animals are cruel to humans.

I think its a red flag for our society when we condemn these kinds of horrendous crimes.

sam

I also agree with Miss Britt. A child abuser or a person in possession of child p*rn can get a sentence of 6 months, but an animal abuser gets a prison terms are far greater... I just don't understand.

I am a pitbull owner myself. I have heard and read the horrible stories of what happens to these dogs - this is NOT the first case. Nor will it be the last.
These dogs are only society's cop out for the hatred and fear bred by the vicious and horrible people who train them to fight and kill.

Pitbulls are of the most loyal breed of dogs and will do ANYTHING to appease their owners, even if that means fight to the death. They will try harder and harder to make their owners happy and this, my friends, is why there is such misconception about these dogs.

People like Micheal Vick, and DMX prey on these animals to make themselves feel better about themselves and feel in control. They need more then a simple jail term to realize the pain and suffering they cause.

And, for the record, putting Vick in a cell with 10 pitbulls will do nothing. They are gentle and loving animals which, over the course of history, have been programmed to fight other DOGS... They are not blood thirsty animals who will rip this man limb from limb, they are more likely to cuddle with him on his prison cot.

jodifur

Sam-thank you for the clarification. I thought when animals are trained to fight they are trained to fight anything. So how about man eating alligators. And for the record, I am a huge animal lover and have no issues with pitbulls.
I find it ironic that people are comparing this to family violence because I work in family violence. And yes, you are more likely to find abused animals in homes of abused children and wives.
And trust me, I'm outraged by the sentences those people get as well. That is why I do the work I do.

Miss Britt

Jodifur - I didn't mean to imply that you aren't outraged by family violence, etc. I was more suggesting society in general.

When I saw this all over the news last night I was GLAD that people were so pissed and demanding consequences, etc. etc. It just frustrates me that people don't seem to be able (as a whole) to transfer that same outrage towards cruelty to other humans.

jodifur

Here is a good article that talks about why he got what he did.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/10/AR2007121002051.html?hpid=topnews

Maddy

At the same time, as with other crimes, it's hard to get the sentence to fit the offense.

veronica

I'm elated that he's actually seeing jailtime for this. Too often animal abuse goes unpunished (and I'm sure part of it is because you can't actually ask the poor things what someone has done to them...breaks my heart).

I am equally outraged though when I hear about child molesters, rapists and do think the should serve more time as well...and I holler about it as well when I hear about the cases...this one was just a biggie in the media because he was a celebrity and couldn't weasle himself out of it...woohoo! But doesn't mean I'm still not thrilled that those poor dogs got justice.

sam

@ jodifur: Oh, I hope you don't think that my entire rant was directed at you. It wasn't at all!!
And man eating alligators do not compare to pits. LOL It's like comparing apples and oranges really.

But! I am very glad that a celeb has actually been held, somewhat accountable for their actions. It's about time.

This crime doesn't compare to the violence of child abuse... but the punishment should fit the crime and in those instances, in most cases, it certainly does not.

DianaCLT

In agreement with just about all that has been previously stated.

Important question: how many people (I'm not talking about fans of MamaPop - I'm talking, mainly, about football fans) will even remember what he went to prison for when it's all said and done? How many will welcome him back onto their television screens and start buying anything with his name on it, again, when their "hero" returns?

I'm hoping his contract is cancelled permanently, but I just don't think it'll happen. They'll make some sort of statement about how he's been rehabilitated in prison, how he's seen the error of his ways, how he's seen the light, etc...and then he'll be cheered back onto the field.

Grrrrrrr...........

Dinz

It breaks my heart to hear about the dogs he had a hand in killing and i'm glad he was forced to pay $900k to take care of the dogs taken from his property. Unfortunately, most of these dogs will go unrescued and destroyed anyways. its a heart breaking cycle but far too many people are fear full of adopting these wonderful dogs due to social stigma.
Here's a wonderful organization that trys to help educate and break through the lies.
http://www.badrap.org/rescue/index.cfm

Robbi

I just have to speak up here and say that Robyn's comment "remember that animals, while amazing creatures, are not humans" got me the wrong way. Who is to say that animals aren't as important as us? While I agree that people who beat their wives, rape, etc. deserve equal amounts of punishment, the main thing here is that animals are helpless. I would hope that a woman whose boyfriend beats the crap out of her would speak up to the authorities. If she doesn't, so be it, that is her say. Just remember that animals don't have that ability so it is our duty as humans to protect them.

BaltimoreGal

I think Vick's sentence was appropriate- not to mention mandatory for the FEDERAL OFFENSES he committed- including racketeering, which was more of an issue than the dogfighting in court. He broke the law. He was also guilty of racketeering, and tested positive for pot (whether of not you think that should be legal, it's currently not). He lied several times to police and the FBI. He killed, abused and took advantage of something weaker than himself.

As far as whether or not this is fair when compared to sentences for crimes against humans- that is not a fair comparison. Why? Because they are completely different laws. YES, the sentences for assault, abuse, manslaughter and murder should absolutely be tougher. That DOES NOT mean that the laws against animal abuse should be weaker. What it means is that the animal abuse laws are newer and more appropriate, and have had more recent attention. I hope that everyone who makes statements like "they're just dogs" or "people don't get treated as well" will GET OUT THERE and fight for tougher sentences for crimes against humans! Otherwise, what is your point?

Fighting for tougher punishment for violence OF ANY KIND will make the world a better place for humans and animals.

BaltimoreGal

Whoops, I meant to say he was also guilty of violating the interstate commerce act, not also guilty of racketeering (which is repeating myself).
It's hard to edit from the soapbox.

jodifur

Go BaltimoreGal!

Deni D.

To the several people above who complain that people "care more about animals than people" or "say nothing about domestic abuse," etc.: On the contrary, in my experience, people who show empathy for animals are actually MORE likely to speak out AND be involved in issues affecting people. I do volunteer work for an animal advocacy group, but I am also a volunteer Braillist and contribute either monetarily or with my time for the local rape crisis center, parental stress center, and Planned Parenthood. And most, if not all, of my friends who also volunteer for the animal group do a LOT of work for people-related charities as well.

I'm proud to be a woman who has more than enough empathy and compassion for several causes, and I'm sick and tired of animal lovers being characterized as "people who don't care about people". Unless you have solid PROOF that the particular people you're accusing actually care nothing for human-rights issues, you should not assume that they don't care about people just because they spoke out for animals. It IS possible to care about and take action for BOTH.

BaltimoreGal

Thanks jodifur!
That comparison always gets me going...
And DeniD- totally reinforcing my point, aren't ya?
Very cool.




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