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November 29, 2007

Should Michael Vick's federal sentencing be concerned with gang tackling?

As this CNN piece details, "Michael Vick has agreed to pay nearly $1 million for the care of about 54 pit bulls found on his property during a dogfighting raid."  In addition, earlier this week Vick learned that a trial on state dogfighting charges has been set for April.  And, according to the CNN piece, there is lots of evidence that Vick's financial condition is deteriorating even faster that his personal reputation.

An interesting legal question raised by all of these developments concerns whether they should lead to a reduced federal sentence because of all the collateral consequences Vick has suffered.  There are lots precedents for cutting Vick a federal sentencing break because of all the other forms of punishment he is enduring (ranging from the Supreme Court's decision in Koon to the President's commutation in Libby).

Some related Vick posts:

November 29, 2007 at 08:54 AM | Permalink


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Vick better hope that the NFL reinstates him after his prison sentence.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 29, 2007 9:05:52 AM

How many of the "Moonlight Road 54" have survived?

Posted by: M.P. Bastian | Nov 30, 2007 8:53:13 AM

I would hope so. The Michael Vick controversy has always bothered me on two different levels. First, I think it's hypocritical for our society to lash out at the Michael Vicks of the world. Millions of chickens, pigs, and other animals in this country are housed in absolutely revolting conditions, tortured (e.g. foie gras), and slaughtered. Why is fighting dogs morally repugnant and packaged meat a billion dollar industry? (I am not even a vegetarian...yet I perceive a great hypocrisy. "Sustenance" is not a justifiable distinction because cost to the consumer is the engine of this institutionalized cruelty.) Second, it seems to me Michael Vick has been punished sufficiently to warrant a very modest sentence. His conduct cost him his reputation, his livelihood, and most likely his long-term dreams (Hall of Fame, etc.). At this point, to punish him more than he already has would be to cash in this individual for the sake of some dogs and media's insatiable appetite for a public lynching (not necessarily race motivated lynching...but one could run in that direction).

Posted by: Michael (ND Law Student) | Nov 30, 2007 11:23:11 AM

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