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Sweets
08-24-2007, 08:40 PM
In an agreement on a guilty plea filed Friday in federal court in Richmond, Va., Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick acknowledged participation in a dogfighting ring that matched pit bulls in combat and sometimes executed those that didn't measure up.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reacted swiftly to the details of Vick's plea agreement, suspending the Atlanta Falcons quarterback indefinitely late Friday afternoon. On July 23, Goodell had ordered Vick not to attend Falcons training camp.
"Your admitted conduct was not only illegal, but also cruel and reprehensible. Your team, the NFL, and NFL fans have all been hurt by your actions," Goodell wrote in a letter to Vick that was echoed by comments from Falcons owner Arthur Blank.
While Vick's plea agreement admitted he funded gambling on the dogfights, Vick said he did not personally pocket the winnings or make side bets. That distinction carried no weight with Goodell.
"Even if you personally did not place bets, as you contend, your actions in funding the betting and your association with illegal gambling both violate the terms of your NFL player contract and expose you to corrupting influences in derogation of one of the most fundamental responsibilities of an NFL player," Goodell wrote.
And while Vick said he was aware dogs were executed and that he played a "collective" role in that, he did not admit personally killing any.
Vick still must appear in court to enter his plea in a hearing Monday at 10:30 a.m. ET in Richmond before U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson.
The judge must formally accept the plea agreement.
"But there's no reason for the judge not to accept the agreement because it doesn't bind the judge to anything," said Washington, D.C., attorney Barry Boss.
That includes sentencing.

PLEA AGREEMENT: Read it here (PDF) (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/vick-plea-deal-070824.pdf)
SUMMARY OF FACTS: Read it here (PDF) (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/vick-summary-of-facts-070824.pdf)
As the plea agreements by two of Vick's co-defendants did a week earlier, the deal between Vick's attorneys and federal prosecutors called for a recommended sentencing guideline of 12-18 months in prison.
"Sometimes, the plea agreement binds the judge. You can bind the judge if the parties agree (for example) that the sentence will be six months," said Boss, former co-chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission's Practitioners Advisory Group.
"Then there is a real risk the judge will reject the plea agreement because the judge doesn't want to be bound to six months."
FIND MORE STORIES IN: NFL (http://www.usatoday.com/community/tags/topic.aspx?req=tag&tag=NFL) | Va (http://www.usatoday.com/community/tags/topic.aspx?req=tag&tag=Va) | Michael Vick (http://www.usatoday.com/community/tags/topic.aspx?req=tag&tag=Michael%20Vick) | Atlanta Falcons (http://www.usatoday.com/community/tags/topic.aspx?req=tag&tag=Atlanta%20Falcons)
But he noted the Vick agreement contains only a recommended sentencing guideline.

ATHLETES IN JAIL: Vick could be next (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/falcons/2007-08-24-athletes-in-jail_N.htm)
"The judge is free to accept or reject it (the guidelines), so there's no reason the judge would ever reject this plea agreement," said Boss.
Vick agreed to plead guilty to the same one-count indictment that his three co-defendants pleaded guilty to earlier.
It alleges conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture. The initial July 17 indictment stemmed from the alleged operation of Bad Newz Kennels on property formerly owned by Vick in Smithfield, Va.
"The defendant will plead guilty because the defendant is in fact guilty of the charged offense," said the plea agreement signed by Vick, his attorneys and prosecutors.
As did previous plea agreements in the case, Vick's summary said the gambling proceeds were split by the co-defendants: Purnell Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach; Quanis Phillips, 28, of Atlanta; and Tony Taylor, 34, of Hampton, Va.
"Vick did not gamble by placing side bets on any of the fights. Vick did not receive any of the proceeds from the purses," said Vick's summary.
The document also said in the summer of 2002 he was "aware Phillips, Peace, and Taylor killed a number of dogs that did not perform well" in testing. The document said, "Vick did not kill any dogs at this time."
Vick also acknowledged that in April of this year, he, Peace and Phillips tested dogs by putting them through fighting sessions. Vick's summary said the three "agreed to the killing of 6-8 dogs that did not perform well" and that they were killed by such methods as hanging and drowning.
"Vick agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts of Peace, Phillips and Vick," the summary said.
The document did not specify whether "collective efforts" meant Vick personally hanged or drowned any dogs.
"The fact that he is agreeing and stipulating that these dogs died as a result of his efforts along with these other guys, I think that's going to be pretty damning for him," said Dan Shannon, a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA),
Shannon noted that in the plea agreements by Phillips and Peace, the phrase "collective efforts" also appears in describing the killings in April of this year.
"It (the document filed Friday) doesn't come right out and say that Michael Vick killed the dogs with his bare hands," said Shannon.
"I think that's just the language they use to describe this sort of thing in a document of this nature. And I think the implication is that Michael Vick was definitely involved at a hands-on level."
Meanwhile, Goodell said he will review the status of the suspension after conclusion of the legal proceedings.
"I will take into account a number of factors, including the resolution of any other charges that may be brought against you, whether in Surry County, Virginia, or other jurisdictions, your conduct going forward, the specifics of the sentence imposed by Judge Hudson and any related findings he might make, and the extent to which you are truthful and cooperative with law enforcement and league staff who are investigating these matters," Goodell wrote.
He also said in his letter to Vick that he had advised the Falcons that they now are now "free to assert any claims or remedies available to them" under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement and his individual contract.
Falcons owner Blank, who signed Vick to a 10-year, $130 million contract in December 2004, issued a statement supporting Goodell's swift action late Friday.
"As with other actions he has taken this year, the commissioner is making a strong statement that conduct which tarnishes the good reputation of the NFL will not be tolerated.
"We hope that Michael will use this time, not only to further address his legal matters, but to take positive steps to improve his personal life."


Source: USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/falcons/2007-08-24-vick-friday_N.htm?csp=34)

rolltideroll
08-24-2007, 11:21 PM
As an Atlanta resident, this is a really sad story for the City, the State and the Falcons.

Not to mention the animals harmed.....

rbedgood
08-25-2007, 01:37 AM
Here's hoping the judge throws the book at him...sorry but the NFL and society are better off with this guy behind bars for a while.

Guru
08-25-2007, 01:51 AM
Now if they will go after child and spouse beaters with as much fervor.

rbedgood
08-25-2007, 01:57 AM
Oh I agree with that completely Guru...the worst is the cases occasionally covered by cable news shows on CNN, Fox and/or MSNBC where you see a sex offender get off with almost no time or just probation...makes me cringe.

Guru
08-25-2007, 02:03 AM
Oh I agree with that completely Guru...the worst is the cases occasionally covered by cable news shows on CNN, Fox and/or MSNBC where you see a sex offender get off with almost no time or just probation...makes me cringe.

Don't forget the teachers. IF a male teacher did what those female teachers did, they would be crucified.

rbedgood
08-25-2007, 02:05 AM
p.s. where were those female teachers when I was in Jr. High...???

Guru
08-25-2007, 02:11 AM
p.s. where were those female teachers when I was in Jr. High...???

I had a couple of them in high school but not Jr high. Miss Potter was HAWT!!!!!

Chiefster
08-25-2007, 03:50 AM
Agreed all around!

Nite Crowd!

sling58
08-25-2007, 07:24 AM
Now if they will go after child and spouse beaters with as much fervor.

Heck yea. IMO anybody that hurts a child or a wife/gf/etc should be taken out in the back forty and beaten by a real man....stuff like that makes my blood boil....as for Vick put him in a 16 x 16 ring with a few hungry mean pits and let him fight his way out. Time for old testament punishment.

AkChief49
08-25-2007, 11:37 AM
the old "eye for an eye" eh?

Chiefster
08-25-2007, 01:30 PM
Heck yea. IMO anybody that hurts a child or a wife/gf/etc should be taken out in the back forty and beaten by a real man....stuff like that makes my blood boil....as for Vick put him in a 16 x 16 ring with a few hungry mean pits and let him fight his way out. Time for old testament punishment.


Let the punishment fit the crime; I always say. :mob:

chief31
08-25-2007, 09:40 PM
Now if they will go after child and spouse beaters with as much fervor.

I don't see that the same way. First off, let me say that I have never hit a woman. But I have been around those people and while the first offense is entirely his fault, (maybe the second.) but once a woman knows about that side of a guy, she should be responsible for her own decisions.

If a guy has multiple victims, then he should be served with some stiff sentences. Even first offenses should be harsher. (Perhaps punishment could be replaced/partnered with a serious attempt at reform, in first offense cases.)But when a woman allows herself to be abused and continues to abuse the legal service, then, at some point, she needs to start going to jail for it.

First offense and maybe the second.... Fine. We will punish him. But, if you keep him, knowing that he can't control his temper, then you have made the decision to get abused.

Sweets
08-25-2007, 09:51 PM
Lots of times the wife is threatened, or her family is threatened. A lot of those wives are so beaten mentally that they don't think they are worth anything because that's all they've been told over and over and even family members will tell the victim to suck it up and just not "upset" the man. Not all women are capable of standing tough and just leave with nothing and most of them have kids and no job, it's not as easy as just leaving.

I say wait until he's drunk and passed out, get a cast ironed skillet and take batting practice on his ***** ***, when he wakes up the next day tell him he went out and got his *** kicked.

chief31
08-25-2007, 10:02 PM
Lots of times the wife is threatened, or her family is threatened. A lot of those wives are so beaten mentally that they don't think they are worth anything because that's all they've been told over and over and even family members will tell the victim to suck it up and just not "upset" the man. Not all women are capable of standing tough and just leave with nothing and most of them have kids and no job, it's not as easy as just leaving.

I say wait until he's drunk and passed out, get a cast ironed skillet and take batting practice on his ***** ***, when he wakes up the next day tell him he went out and got his *** kicked.

I agree, to a certain extent, that women can be made to feel 'trapped', but if you throw him in prison, she is on her own anyway. So, she should have gotten out, on her own, without taking the extra beatings.

Usually, abusive men are the result of having been beaten as children. Yet we refuse to have any sympathy for their mental situation, and make excuses for the womans mental state, by using the excuse that "She feels threatened and scared.", or "She isn't CAPABLE of leaving and making it, on her own." No,no,no, we call him a "*****", or whatever insulting name that we can think of and we sympathize with her.

Sweets
08-25-2007, 10:06 PM
Well let me beat on a man for a while then maybe my sympathy will ooze through....any man that hits a woman is a "*****" wtf would you call him???? Right??? Sorry but I wouldn't sympathize with anyone doing the beating, but I guess you have a different view.

Chiefster
08-25-2007, 10:56 PM
...I say wait until he's drunk and passed out, get a cast ironed skillet and take batting practice on his ***** ***, when he wakes up the next day tell him he went out and got his *** kicked.

I thought for a second you were gonna say wait until he's passed out then set the bed, or whatever he's passed out on, on fire. :firedevil:

chief31
08-25-2007, 10:58 PM
Well let me beat on a man for a while then maybe my sympathy will ooze through....any man that hits a woman is a "*****" wtf would you call him???? Right??? Sorry but I wouldn't sympathize with anyone doing the beating, but I guess you have a different view.

How about a "victim"? It's a habit that is formed from childhood.

Calling them a "*****" is like the term "homophobia". Just using an insult to criticize those who behave badly isn't helping anyone.