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December 10, 2007

Michael Vick gets 23 months in prison

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has this report on this morning's sentencing for Michael Vick.  Here are the basics:

Michael Vick was sentenced Monday to 23 months in prison by a federal judge who found the fallen NFL star had not fully accepted responsibility for his conduct in a dogfighting operation. U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson said he believed Vick had been less than candid in admitting to killing pitbulls that did not test well as fighting dogs.

The judge also noted that Vick had given contradictory statements to officials regarding his drug use while out on bond. Vick tested positive for marijuana in September shortly after entering a plea agreement. Vick, wearing a black and white stripped prison jumpsuit, acknowledged to Hudson that he had made some bad decisions. "I'm willing to deal with the consequences and accept responsibility for my actions," Vick told Hudson.

After Vick apologized to Hudson, his family and his children, Hudson told him he should also apologize "to the millions of young people who looked up to you." Hudson called Vick's actions "cruel and inhumane" and said Vick played a major role by financing the dogfighting operation. "You were a full partner and equally culpable," with his three co-defendants. Vick also received three years probation.

December 10, 2007 at 11:39 AM | Permalink


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Perhaps we shouldn't care, but this effectively ends whatever small chance Vick had of reviving his NFL career. At the conclusion of his sentence, he will have been inactive for three full seasons. It is highly unlikely that a player so dependent on speed and timing would be able to return after so long a layoff (even assuming the NFL would want him).

Posted by: Marc Shepherd | Dec 10, 2007 11:52:24 AM

Given that Vinnie Testaverde, who went to school with my great-grandfather BTW, is still taking snaps in a quarterback-deficient NFL, I don't think Vick will have any trouble finding a job.

Posted by: dweedle | Dec 10, 2007 12:03:56 PM

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?id=3119284 (interesting story on Judge's background). After reading the following paragraph I had a feeling Vick wasn't going to get off lightly.

"He's also a big fan of the draconian sentences meted out in federal crack cocaine cases. He likes the message they send: "Imagine the reaction of the petty crack pusher -- cocky, defiant, and decked out in gold jewelry -- busted by the feds. He's accustomed to being released on bond and back on the street in an hour, so he tells the cops to screw themselves. Doing a few months in jail is nothing. It's a badge of manhood and the girls love it. But the bravado evaporates when they're held without bond and their lawyer explains that they are looking at ten years without parole. Some cool guys actually passed out on the spot. At that point, we were ready to do business."

Posted by: Me | Dec 10, 2007 12:16:20 PM

Vick is no Vinnie Testaverde. He's a star QB because of his freakish speed & arm strength, not because of his brains & his pocket presence. Those abilities will certainly deteriorate while he's in prison (even if he's able to simulate "The Longest Yard" and start up a prisoner football team). However, he could conceivably still play in the NFL when he gets out. If he's willing to take a 2d or 3d string QB position, some team would probably sign him for a low salary just for the simple fact that he has so many years of experience being an NFL starter. I'd certainly rather play an older & slower Vick than some untested rookie. Plus, even when slow, Vick is still probably gonna be pretty fast for a QB. NFL teams won't care about his federal record as long as the price is right.

Posted by: P | Dec 10, 2007 1:14:16 PM

And now for the rest of the story...

Watch the "Welcome to Heaven Michael Vick" video on Revver at:


Posted by: Wunderhund Productions | Dec 10, 2007 6:35:22 PM

As a legal assistant that has some knowledge of fed. criminal law why hasn't anyone picked up that Michael Vick is entitled to the fed. drug program where he is entitled up to 12 months off his sentence and an automatic 6 months half way house. If he gets 9 months off his sentence, slightly less than 15% goodtime on the remaining 14 months and 6 months halfway house, you do the math. He could play football while in the halfway house. Failing drug test after indictment makes this very real. Certainly doesn't have to prove he did drugs within a year of the conviction.

Posted by: makmok | Dec 10, 2007 7:32:27 PM

Well, I'm absolutely heartbroken with this situation.... America and our ever-changing moral trends...A few dead pit bulls and a lot of generousity for kids/poor people that's not there anymore. Our legal system is a disgrace.

Posted by: tre dizzle | Dec 10, 2007 8:47:31 PM

In response to makmok, Vick is not eligible for the 500 hour program (successful completion of which would reduce his sentence by twelve months) because his sentence is not long enough. Ordinarily, a defendant must be sentenced to at least 48 months to get into the 500 hour program.

Posted by: Ephus | Dec 11, 2007 9:25:33 AM

Don't forget dweedle that there is a more serious problem that Vick would face in attempting to return to the NFL - that is that his conviction involved gambling since the dogs were fighting for money. Anyone familiar with the NFL knows that the NFL is more concerned about gambling issues than players being involved in crimes, even violent crimes. Thus, it is highly unlikely that Vick will ever get to play in the NFL again even if he retains the ability to play football at that level.

BTW, I went to the Federal Courthouse in Richmond today, and the TV Networks still had their trucks outside due to the Vick trial! I understand it was a real circus down there yesterday thanks to PETA, but there didn't seem to be much going on today that would require several TV Networks.

Posted by: Zack | Dec 11, 2007 4:27:34 PM

I'm a student that feels Vick is being publicly crucified because he is a rich Black male.

The sentence is hypocritical and contradictory. Why?

. Who else has been convicted and penalized to this extent for related dog fighting? Answer = NOBODY else.

. Why have all the Whites previously convicted on such related charges been given stuff like $1,000 dollar fines and suspended sentences. If this is such a major crime, why is this Black man the 1st to be crucified to this level?

The "holier than thou" White judge, handing out a sentence NONE of his fellow White judges have ever handed out to White defendants.

This garbage reminds us of all of the White judicial system in all its infinite wisdom handing out longer prison sentences for crack than pure cocaine. Cheap crack is sold in the ghettos, so we will hand out 3X as long prison sentence against Blacks. Despite the fact that crack is made from cocaine and is just a cheap substitute. Furthermore, we will not go after the suppliers, as much as we go after some people on the street trying to make a few dollars and those trying to escape their misery in the ghettos.

. White American hate for Black males and Black male athletes is thinly veiled by the comments many make. Stuff like, "Good for those ghetto n****", "Hang him!", "Those Black ****" , "Black thug this and that", are comments all over the Internet about Vick and Black men in general. Its more about Vick being Black and successful, than it is about dogs.

. If there is so much true concern for animals, than why is say deer hunting for sport not illegal. You convict Vick, then turn around and go hunting with gun crazy Joe. How many dogs were put to sleep today in America??? Yeah, but now we are all "save the dogs", when a successful Black athlete is concerned.

. Vick has been publicly humiliated, lost HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of dollars (when is the last time you paid that much), and has given MILLIONS of dollars in penalties to the dogs (literally).

. Vick was given a longer sentence than even his accomplices. Furthermore to make matters worse, those accomplices were squeezed by the feds and forced to plea deal.

. The penalty was specifically geared to destroy Vick's career. We are talking about a pro athlete. The judge effectively ended Vick's career and means to support himself.

. Vick will do more time in jail than various convicted rapist. So what are we saying. The dogs are MORE IMPORTANT than human WOMEN??? Get real. Vick being a Black male had a lot to do with it.

. Vick being in jail is not protecting the public safety. Its not making humans or dog safer. Vick is not a street killer nor do we have fear of him being a repeat offender. The point of Vick's time in jail is to make a statement to the Black public.

Yes, Vick deserves to be punished. However his punishment should have been relative to how those BEFORE him have been punished and relative and in proportion to other crimes like rape and murder. The sentence should have been no longer than 12 months. Going further is bullsh*t. If they add on state charges and more time to 23 months and give like a 36 month sentence, than complete and utter crap. Blacks should march for Vick.

Vick's crucification demonstrates there is no true justice in America.

Posted by: FreeVick | Dec 11, 2007 9:05:07 PM

FreeVick, you got my attention. There were a time when white collar crimes was were done by mostly whites and they were given probation or a fines. When people of color figured the game out and starting moving next door to the whites, the laws were change. Yes that's right laws have changed and will continue to do so to keep the blacks down.... This is not about getting a free ride, it's about getting the same treatment as the whites.

Ask any law professor (white) how many times they have been harassed by the police and then ask the black professors.

Posted by: | Dec 12, 2007 11:18:46 AM

This comment goes out to the people that have basically said nothing about the crime inwhich Vick committed, but rather just ran their mouth because it's another way for you to get face time and feel better about yourself. The fact of the matter is, Vick committed federal crimes and is now going to do the time. Big deal, boohoo. Give him a tissue and some K-Y and tell him to have fun. It has nothing to do with the fact that he's "black" or "white," it has to do with the fact that flat out it's time to do something about the crimes being committed. I'm a criminal jusitce major, and I am very thankful that Vick got sentenced to 23 months, and I wish he would have gotten the entire 5 years w/out chance of parole or any other kind of getting out. You are forgetting about the sick mind it must take to be able to take a dog a hang it, and then drown it because it can't fight. Yeah I'm sure he's sorry, great, everyone is sorry after they've been convicted, because now they're caught and they know it's bye-bye time. I don't feel a bit sorry for him as a person or a player. The NFL doesn't need people like that and I hope that the Commish says that he can't come back.

Now I do agree with you that the justice system is messed up, and if you want real stats on the incarceration rates of blacks:whites I could give them to you, but complaining about some poor baby that got caught for committing a crime because he was a professional football player, shows how ignorant some people can be. Get over yourself and sit back and relax and we'll see how long it takes for him to get out. The reason why it's such a big deal is because he is (or now was cuz he lost his money/endorsements/etc.) and that's the only reason why people are doing this. I think we have better things to worry about like the fact that Sean Taylor was just shot down in his house. That seems like something better to talk about then Vick. He's a waste of my time, even when he was playing.

Posted by: J | Dec 13, 2007 4:37:57 PM

Do you really think that our federal tax dollars should be wasted on this type of crime. Why not let a state deal with it. Justice would have been much better served (and the population in general) if they had made him go out and talk to kids about what he did and why it was wrong and then make a huge financial contribution to PETA or some other similar organization. Our justice system is seriously flawed when we proceed with cases like this in federal court.

Posted by: ST | Dec 17, 2007 12:18:57 PM

Vick was involved. I don't agree with the abuse of the dogs, but we have more important things to think about in this world, like health care for all children, providing jobs for people, protecting our child from child predators, etc. Let's focus on the real issues that matter.

Posted by: Big Daddy's Baby | Dec 20, 2007 2:31:20 PM

to suggest that blacks should march for Vick is retarded and anyone who thinks so should be chewed by a pit bull

Posted by: zack is a fag | Sep 4, 2008 12:17:45 PM

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