Suspended NFL star Michael Vick to be sentenced in federal dogfighting case Monday Print
Written by Admin   
Sunday, 09 December 2007 10:51
NFL Headline News

 RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - How much, if any, will Michael Vick's role as financier of a brutal dogfighting ring hurt him? What about his use of drugs while awaiting sentencing?
Or will he benefit from his public apology? His cooperation? His voluntary early start on his prison term?
Answers to these questions, among others, will determine how much time the suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback will serve in prison for his role in a federal dogfighting conspiracy.
And the only man who knows the answers is U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, who will sentence Vick in a packed courtroom Monday while the disgraced NFL star's supporters and animal-rights activists rally outside.
Vick faces a maximum of five years in prison. Hudson is not bound by sentencing guidelines that suggest a year to 18 months, or prosecutors' recommendation.
Hudson already has sentenced two of Vick's co-defendants to 18 months and 21 months - slightly more than prosecutors recommended, but still within the guidelines.
Legal experts said Hudson's willingness to stick to the guidelines in those cases is a positive sign for Vick, but by no means a guarantee he will get similar treatment because so many factors could work against him.
For example, Vick admitted he bankrolled the ``Bad Newz Kennels'' dogfighting enterprise on a 15-acre property he owned in rural southeastern Virginia. He also gave his associates money to bet on the fights but said he did not share in any winnings.
Mary.
Richmond attorney Steve Benjamin, secretary of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, noted the plea agreement Vick negotiated with prosecutors did not include any sentencing enhancement for a leadership role in the conspiracy. But that does not preclude Hudson from considering that role, Benjamin said.
Perhaps a bigger concern for Vick, according to Malone, is the extent of his involvement in executing dogs. Vick admitted helping kill six to eight pit bulls. Any details the judge learns about exactly what Vick did could weigh heavily in his decision, Malone said.
She said Hudson also likely will take a dim view of Vick's positive test for marijuana in September - a violation of the conditions set for Vick's release after he pleaded guilty. The infraction prompted Hudson to impose a curfew and electronic monitoring.
Vick voluntarily began serving his prison term Nov. 19, a move his lawyer said demonstrated Vick's willingness to take responsibility for his actions.
``It was beneficial that he went in to serve his sentence before Thanksgiving, but that wasn't completely altruistic because he couldn't play football anyway,'' Malone said.
Defendants typically get credit for acceptance of responsibility and contrition. Vick apologized at a news conference after entering his guilty plea, and he will have an opportunity to speak directly to the court before he is sentenced.
Hudson also could hear from witnesses. According to the court, the sentencing hearing is expected to last two to four hours. The sentencings of co-defendants Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips combined took only a half hour. No witnesses testified at those hearings.
Vick's lead attorney, Billy Martin, did not respond to an e-mail inquiry about possible character witnesses and whether Vick would directly address the court.
Like Vick's previous court appearances, this one is expected to attract a throng of reporters, as well as demonstrators. Police will close streets around the federal courthouse. The Atlanta-based New Order Human Rights Organization plans to send members to support Vick, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will protest the mistreatment of dogs.
Gerald Rose, founder and CEO of New Order, said he hopes Hudson will be lenient.
``Michael Vick made a bad mistake,'' he said. ``But at the same time, we believe in second chances. I think God has got Michael Vick's attention. He's going to come back a better man.''
Spokesmen for PETA and the Humane Society of the United States said they trust Hudson to make the right decision.
``We just want to make sure the sentencing is in line not only with the two guys who were already sentenced, but also in line with just the outrage and the horror the people have over this case,'' said PETA spokesman Dan Shannon.
John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues for the Humane Society, said the organization is sensitive to the fact that Hudson will consider the degree of Vick's cooperation with authorities in naming others involved in dogfighting rings or other crimes.
``I seriously doubt he's going to go below what he did for Peace and Phillips,'' Goodwin said. ``I would anticipate a sentence in that range or a little higher, and we will be happy with that because Michael Vick has suffered more consequences than anyone ever has for dogfighting.''
Those consequences include the loss of a stellar NFL career, legions of adoring fans, lucrative endorsement deals, and now, his freedom.
``This whole case has sent a pretty strong message to people,'' Goodwin said. ``You get involved in dogfighting, you're throwing your future away.'
 

NFL Team Pages

Recent NFL Discussions

by Blade
Yesterday 9:58 am
by Blade
Jul-21-14 9:58 am
by Blade
Jul-20-14 9:00 pm

Top NFL Public Bets

#1 480 Kansas City Chiefs 77%
#2 463 New Orleans Saints 76%
#3 491 San Diego Chargers 73%
#4 485 San Francisco 49ers 71%
#5 488 Denver Broncos 71%
#6 481 New England Patriots 67%
#7 468 Pittsburgh Steelers 67%
#8 484 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 64%
#9 472 New York Jets 62%
#10 469 Jacksonville Jaguars 62%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NFL Futures

NFL TEAM CONFERENCE ODDS CURRENT
DENVER BRONCOS 9/4
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 3/1
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 17/4
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 9/2
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 6/1
GREEN BAY PACKERS 6/1
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 15/2
CHICAGO BEARS 15/2
PITTSBURGH STEELERS 12/1
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 14/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com