Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has accepted a plea deal that could send him to prison.
CNN has the latest. I'll post details as they become available.
Evening roundup of Vickedness.
Sports Illustrated first with a good Q & A:
SI.com: Could the judge impose a stiffer sentence?
Dohrmann: Usually judges stick to the guidelines, although the judge in Vick's case -- judge Henry Hudson -- let it be known at the plea hearing for Peace and Phillips last Friday that he could sentence them to five years in prison and they couldn't then get out of their pleas (or appeal). If Vick agrees to plead guilty to the same single charge as his friends (federal dogfighting conspiracy), he faces the same quandary. He might get the sentence his lawyers negotiated with prosecutors or he might get more. Hudson won't make the final decision until the sentencing hearing, the date of which we won't know until Monday.
Terrific column by Ann Killion of the San Jose Mercury News:
Please spare me the comments that this is just like hunting. Or that this is a race-based investigation. Or the scapegoating of a superstar. Or that we should save our outrage for crimes against humans, like spouse abuse, rape and murder. Of course, we should also be outraged by other crimes. But the outrage people feel on behalf of innocent animals is also true and deep and morally justified. All the other arguments only attempt to minimize the horror of such an inhumane activity.
Vick's apology rings hollow to SI's Don Banks:
I'm just wondering if we're going to hear again from those wise men of all wise men, Deion Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Clinton Portis and the like? I seem to remember that Sanders told us Vick might love his dogs as much as any dog lover, it's just in a different way. He loved them because they fought for him.
Now that we know Vick and two of his co-defendants killed some of those dogs by hanging them from trees in their backyard, I want to hear Deion's latest take. And what about those dogs that just wouldn't die by hanging, but had to be finished off by having their heads held in five-gallon buckets of water until they drowned?
If that's the way Vick and his buddies "loved'' their dogs, please explain it to us again, Deion. Because I'm just not getting it.
Vick's attorney says the plea is "just verbal":
The proposed plea is for Vick to plead guilty to one federal count of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities. [Daniel] Meachum declined to take questions on a possible sentence or whether the sentence discussion is part of the plea offer.
Meachum has referred to Vick as "a kid." Spare me. Vick's 27. He's a parent. "Kid," my elbow.
Complete coverage, as expected, at Google News, CNN, etc.
Does Vick deserve a second chance?
Last word on that goes to PitFriend from the Pit Bull Forum message board:
All [Vick] had to do was keep his head up and play the game, and he had it made. But he threw that away for the thrill of torturing helpless animals and making a little extra cash on the side, and we're supposed to give him a second chance? What an insult to all of the hardworking people in this world who struggle just to get by and still manage not to break the law or commit such heinous acts against sentient beings. The idea of it makes me sick.My prediction: Vick will serve at least two years, and never play pro football again. Hey -- a girl can hope.