Michael Vick Takes a Plea Deal
Well here’s what many of us were expecting; Michael Vick copped a plea! He’ll be entering a guilty plea in court next Monday at 10:30 to the felony conspiracy charge, this according to a written statement released by Vick’s attorney, William R. (Billy) Martin’s office.
“After consulting with his family over the weekend, Michael Vick has asked that I announce today that he has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors regarding charges pending against him,” Billy Martin, one of Vick’s attorneys, said in a statement.
“Mr. Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to these charges and to accept full responsibility for those actions and for the mistakes he has made. Michael wishes to apologize to everyone who has been hurt by this matter. The legal team and Mr. Vick will appear in Court in Richmond on Aug. 27.”
This announcement comes just as a federal grand jury is meeting in private. A grand jury that could have handed down further indictments and charges against Michael Vick, charges such a racketeering. With this plea it’s doubtful that he will have to face additional charges… unfortunately!
Although the terms of the agreement are not public as of yet and may not be for some time, he’ll most likely serve at least a year in prison according to sources . Prosecutors, who were seeking a prison term of 12 to 18 months, have yet to formally agree to the plea, a source told ESPN’s Kelly Naqi and the plea still has to be approved by the judge for it to be official.
On its Web site, the Virginian Pilot said Vick has accepted a deal for 18 to 36 months in prison to avoid additional federal charges.
The NFL Network is reporting that Vick’s deal with federal prosecutors will see him sentenced to 10-12 months.
An interesting point in fact, the judge is not bound by the sentencing guidelines in a plea agreement. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, known for handing down a stiff sentence when the facts warrant it, has said that if Vick agrees to a plea with the prosecutors he’ll take their recommendations under consideration but he is not bound by them. In other words the plea may recommend a year in jail but the judge may decide that he doesn’t agree and can actually increase the sentence as he sees fit.
There’s no word as of yet what this will mean to his NFL career. Goodell has said that he would wait until he had the results of an independent investigation as well as see what happened regarding the potential plea agreement.
League sources tell ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that Goodell will likely suspend Vick indefinitely and that a final decision on Vick’s suspension will be made after his legal case is resolved.
The Falcons will not release Vick immediately; rather, they will wait to see what Goodell does and what is in the statement of facts when Vick enters the plea on Monday, Falcons officials told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio. If the league suspends Vick, the Falcons could then go after Vick’s signing bonus of approximately $22 million, because if suspended, then Vick would be in default of his contract. (ESPN)
This is a statement released from the NFL;
“We are aware of Michael Vick’s decision to enter a guilty plea to the federal charges against him and accept responsibility for his conduct. We totally condemn the conduct outlined in the charges, which is inconsistent with what Michael Vick previously told both our office and the Falcons. We will conclude our own review under the league’s personal conduct policy as soon as possible. In the meantime, we have asked the Falcons to continue to refrain from taking action pending a decision by the commissioner.”
This after Falcon’s owner, Auther Blank accused Vick of lying to him and the NFL after his co-defendants signed statements Friday saying that Vick took an active part in executing dogs that didn’t ‘perform well’.
As I mentioned previously, the gambling allegations alone could trigger a lifetime ban under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Personally, I think he and his fellow thugs, abusers, pieces of trash, etc, etc, etc… (I’m trying to be nice here) are going to get off way too easy for what they did. There are dozens and dozens of dogs seized from the Vick property, sitting in kennels right, now awaiting their fate with will most likely be death! The final decision rests with a federal judge but animal rights groups are asking that the dogs be euthanized because they have been trained to do nothing but fight!
So Vick and his ‘buddies’ will spend some time in prison and probably have some fines levied against them, but they will still be able to live out the rest of their lives. These dogs will not! And there are many people even predicting that Vick will be back on the gridiron in the future – ‘Assuming the NFL doesn’t impose a lifetime ban, and assuming Vick doesn’t lose his legs in prison, there could be plenty of teams lining up for his services’. Where is real justice served? It’s not!
An unnamed NFL general manager made the following statement before Vick’s plea bargain but it may be prophesy:
“If he goes to prison, time will pass,” said the general manager, who spoke before news of a potential Vick plea agreement and asked not to be identified, claiming the NFL has asked current team officials not to publicly comment on the Vick case. “Months or years will pass, if he does go to jail. If he went to jail, and then left prison down the road, he’d still be relatively young, and there’d be a line of 15 to 20 teams waiting to sign him. Trust me on that. Teams are going to say, ‘F— PETA. F— the bad pub. This guy is one of the most talented players of the last 10 years. I’ll take my chances.’
“Teams may say one thing publicly. But if he gets out of jail, we’ll all be looking at Vick hard. We’re all whores in football. You know the saying. We’d sign an ax murderer if he has ability. He’ll be back. He won’t be back in Atlanta probably but he’ll be back in professional football. You can count on it.”
I think he shouldn’t have been allowed to plea. He should have had to deal with the trial and the additional charges that would have been facing. With all of the evidence a guilty verdict, which would have been almost a given, would have reaped a much stiffer sentence then he’ll ever receive with this plea agreement.
He needs to spend some serious time in prison and I don’t mean a year or three, he needs to be fined to penury, he needs to be banned from the NFL for life! He needs to be made an example of that we won’t stand for this kind of abuse and cruelty from anyone, no matter who they are, how much money they have or how much celebrity they have!!
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
For all the background and information as well as the full indictment and Pernell, Peace and Taylor’s “Statements of Facts,” please see – Michael Vick and Dogfighting
And in a semi-related and highly amusing story, the Atlanta Humane Society is receiving donations of Michael Vick jerseys from all over the county.
“When I first saw them, I was kind of shocked. I was like, “Why do they have Vick jerseys here,” said Julie Sentner.
Jersey after jersey kept showing up from people wanting to make good from a bad situation and from disgruntled and angry ex-fans. Initially unsure what to do with the jerseys, they’ve definitely put them to good use!
“We discovered like any donation we get, any shirt or towel, we put it to good use here at Atlanta Humane Society. We’re always using things to clean kennels, use for bedding and stuff like that,â€ said Smith.
Yup, that’s right, clean kennels!! How appropriate!
The dog pictured here is using one of the jerseys as a pillow. You can’t help but laugh at the irony of it.
“We”re not showing any favoritism to these jerseys, they go into our general rotation of towels,” Smith said.
“As long as they’re being used for good, then that’s great. If they’re using them to make dogs more comfortable or to clean up after them, then that’s fine,” said Sentner.
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