Vick to Plead Guilty
Feds, League Need to Stand Tough
Suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is expected to plead guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges and could face up to 3 years in prison.
The NFL.com story from the Associated Press says up to 18 months, but the CNN.com story says up to 36 months. Vick's lawyers are trying to get the proposed sentence to less than a year, and the NFL Network's Adam Schefter said the deal specifies 10 to 12 months.
The original charges carried a maximum 5 years and a $250,000 fine.
The prosecution already has three alleged accomplices accepting plea deals, so it seems strange to me that they would maintain an offer to Vick. It seems there's little chance he could beat the charges. The 18-month penalty is said to be "a higher penalty than is usually recommended for first-time offenders, and reflects an attempt by the government to show that animal abusers will receive more than a slap on the wrist for their crimes," but that no longer appears to be a priority.
I think it stinks. It's more evidence that "people of privilege" don't pay the price the unprivileged pay.
And if the Feds don't stick to their guns, is there anything to make you believe the league will? Roger Goodell has applied a firm hand with Terry Johnson and Adam Jones; but Vick, despite losing several endorsements since his indictment, is still a much more highly prized league commodity, and business is business.
I hope I'm wrong on both counts. I hope the prosecutors or the judge reject the plea deal and the league makes a definitive stand. That will send a message, and all subsequent legal issues can be dealt with more appropriately. Otherwise, "business is business" becomes "business as usual."
In the 6 years since 9/11, it appears many people have lost their outrage. Have they done so in this case in just a month?
What do you think?
How long should Vick spend in prision?
This poll is closed
6 months or less
6 to 12 months
12 to 24
24 to 36 months
more than 36 months