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Thursday, May 17, 2007
The Legal Process and Michael Vick

A few weeks ago, I blogged about Michael Vick's possible involvement in an illegal pit bull fighting ring at a home he owns in Smithfield, Virginia, and how the NFL might react. Over on East Coast Bias, attorney Jason Reddish has a thoughtful post that defends the unwillingness of Surry County (VA) Commonwealth Attorney Gerald Poindexter to charge Vick, despite pressure from the media and from Kathy Strouse, the animal control coordinator for Chesapeake, Virginia, to do so. Here is an excerpt from Jason's piece:
Ms. Strouse, apparently, has learned nothing about the judicial process from the missteps in Durham and other places. Rather than allowing Mr. Poindexter to properly develop the case and serve the interests of the people of Surry County and the Commonwealth of Virginia, she wants a public spectacle and a premature indictment. I applaud Mr. Poindexter for the poise and diligence which he has displayed in this investigation.

There's a reason attorneys handle prosecutions rather than dog catchers. I hope the national media respects Mr. Poindexter's investigation rather than latching on to Ms. Strouse's inflammatory comments.
For the rest of the article, click here.


Due process does not always please public opinion or public perception of matters.

Blogger Luis Cassiano Neves -- 5/18/2007 4:45 AM  

In case you missed it..... Prosecutor lacks solid evidence to charge Vick - check out this new link posted 5/24/07

Anonymous Anonymous -- 5/24/2007 8:49 PM  

Y do white people care more about some fucking animals the they care about there own children? Did the man say he bought the house for a family member. It's killing you that he is a bomb ass quarteback. Get over it he's not the 1st and damn sure won't be the last AFRICAN AMERICAM that will out shine you sorry ass white people

Anonymous Anonymous -- 6/11/2007 4:49 PM  

"Y do white people...." - from anonymous.

Outside of your grammer and spelling you tend to put "your" people back a hundred years with your comments.

Step up to the plate and give a real arguement.

Don't be a spectator all your life - actually do something with it.

A "bomb ass" QB? Yeah he throws BOMBS alright - DUDS. When was the last time a QB was told to out rush his receivers? Even if we forget about this PITBULL incident, Vick is still a horrible QB.

If you continue to throw race in this matter like Poindexter did then you will continue to make it racial.

White people? So I guess you don't associate with any huh? Why don't you just go back to your home to beat up your wives, leave your children, shoot your brothers, steal from each other and collect welfare? Is that the attitude you think all "white" people have of African Americans? Stop standing behind Rev. AL and JESSE! They are no better than the people they go after.

Sometimes it is not about race but about being caught and doing the time. No matter what color you are!

We will never have complete racial equality because there will always be people like you on both sides of the fence.

Peace out...

Anonymous Anonymous -- 6/13/2007 8:37 AM  

Are human beings more important than dogs? Or what? Read below
Racial tension

Photograph of a tree outside Jena High School. This is not the tree from which the nooses were hung.Racial tensions resurfaced in Jena on September 1, 2006, when hangman's nooses were discovered in a tree in Jena High School's campus after a black student tried to sit with white students at lunch. The school head recommended that the noose-hangers should be expelled. The board of education overruled him and the three white student perpetrators received in-school suspension.[4] On November 30, 2006 an arson fire destroyed the main academic building at the school. On December 4, 2006 a fight broke out on campus, after which six African-American students, later dubbed the Jena 6,[5] were arrested and charged with attempted second-degree murder. Law enforcement officers told the Alexandria Daily Town Talk they have found no links between the noose incident, the arson fire, and subsequent fights[citation needed].

The six accused of attempted second-degree murder are black and were fighting a white student after a week of intimidation by white students, including the one who was assaulted.[6] Intimidation cited includes an incident in which a white student brandished a gun at a convenience store after a verbal exchange. Students allegedly wrestled away the gun and were then held in custody and charged with theft while no charges were made against the white student.[7]

On June 26, 2007 the first day of trial for Mychal Bell, one of the defendants, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the charges for Bell to aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated second-degree battery.[8] Bell was found guilty by an all-white jury, and will face the possibility of up to 22 years in prison when he is sentenced.[7] The sentencing was originally scheduled for July 30, but has been delayed. [9] However, the case is currently in dispute, as the black court-appointed public defender did not call a single witness in his attempt to defend Bell.[10] The other five students will be tried at a later date.

On August 24th, 2007, a bond hearing was held for Mychal Bell. Judge J.P. Mauffray ruled against Bell, citing four prior violent crimes in his past and three parole violations.

Mychal Bell's sentencing is scheduled for September 20th, when protesters in support of the Jena 6 are expected to gather from several parts of the country at the LaSalle Parish courthouse.

The town has gained international notoriety as an example of the alleged "new 'stealth' racism" that lives on in America[11] with national attention drawn to the events by a National Public Radio prime time story on July 30, 2007.[12] The town also featured in a BBC documentary, This World: "Race hate in Louisiana".[13]

[edit] References
^ "Jena, Louisiana (LA) Detailed Profile" (notes), City Data, 2007, webpage: C-Jena.
^ a b "Census 2000 Data for the State of Louisiana" (town list), US Census Bureau, May 2003, webpage: C2000-LA.
^ Mangold, Tom (2007-05-24). 'Stealth racism' stalks deep South. BBC News.
^ Howard Witt. Charge reduced in 'Jena 6' case. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 2007-07-26.
^ Jordan Flaherty. There was White Kids that Hung Up a Noose, But It was Black Kids in the Fight. Retrieved on 2007-05-20.
^ a b Bill Quigley. Injustice in Jena. Retrieved on 2007-06-11.
^ Foster, Mary (2007-06-27). Charges Reduced for Student in La. Fight. Guardian Limited.
^ Jena 6: Mychal Bell's Sentencing Delayed (2007-07-29). Retrieved on 2007-08-04.
^ Witt, Howard. "Louisiana teen guilty in school beating case; Witnesses provide conflicting testimony", Chicago Tribune, 2007-06-29. Retrieved on 2006-07-16.
^ Racism goes on trial again in America's Deep South. Retrieved on 2007-05-20.
^ Goodwyn, Wade (2007-07-30). Beating Charges Split La. Town Along Racial Lines. NPR.
^ 'Stealth racism' stalks deep South,, May 24 2007

Anonymous Anonymous -- 9/05/2007 9:49 PM  

Vick is an idiot.

Anonymous Indoor Tanning Lotion -- 9/26/2007 4:24 PM  

Y do white people care more about some fucking animals the they care about there own children? Did the man say he bought the house for a family member. It's killing you that he is a bomb ass quarteback. Get over it he's not the 1st and damn sure won't be the last AFRICAN AMERICAM that will out shine you sorry ass white people

I care about children of all colors, I don't smoke pot and I don't fight or kill dogs.

Vick deserves what he gets, kids don't.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 9/27/2007 9:52 PM  

He "shined" us all right.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 9/27/2007 9:54 PM  

i love michael VICK!!! I really do he is a great qb but has a couple of problems so what????

Anonymous Anonymous -- 10/30/2007 11:00 PM  

If there is any justice in the world, Vick will be raped consistently in prison and please let him contract HIV!

Anonymous Anonymous -- 11/19/2007 5:10 PM  

Michael Vick got off easy because 23 months with parole is way too leniant for a guy who was involved in illegal activities while being looked upon as a role model for little boys everywhere.

Anonymous redneck -- 12/10/2007 1:16 PM  

Dog fighting has been going on for many years. It's a shame that Vick has to do 23 months for this, there are much bigger issues happening in this world. We need to stop focusing in on something that in reality should have been a slap on the wrist.
Maybe 6 months and some community time at best.

Anonymous laepoca -- 12/10/2007 10:43 PM  

I'm sorry folks, but a professional athlete in this country is someone who young children look up to and perhaps aspire to or at very least make efforts to emulate. Michael Vick regardless of the cultural environment or other events surrounding his youth was a college graduate and purportedly an educated man who would have been able to distinguish between right and wrong. The part of this story that really bothers me given his celebrity athlete, "role model" and ridiculously excessive salary status is the fact that he neglected his responsibilities to the fans who support him and the children who emulate him and the franchise who pays him to act in a responsible manner that should not tarnish his image or that of the team or sport.

Mainstream media and commentators throughout the Saints vs. Atlanta Monday night game took every opportunity to provide us with their input about poor Michael Vick's tragic tale and his bleak but possible future with the NFL after completion of his PRISON sentence. Now I could be wrong, but if professional athletes are supposed to mimic role models that we all would want our own kids to aspire to be like then WHY would anyone want their child to grow up to be a CONVICTED FELON serving time in a FEDERAL PRISON? This point seems to lack the emphasis by mainstream media types that I feel necessary. All of the stories that I listened to and read about Michael Vick reported that he was being sentenced in a Federal Prison but failed to emphasize the fact that he is now a convicted felon. How many convicted felons are currently or have previously played on professional football teams and why are they allowed? A normal person with a criminal conviction has difficulty getting a job working a a local McDonalds. I for one would not want my child thinking it is ok to commit a felony crime and there not be lifelong and life altering repercussions. Is the crime that Michael Vick committed significant when compared to murder or sexual assault or some other violent offense? Probably not, and it doesn't help that an organization with as much political influence as PETA was behind the scenes driving the issue, nevertheless he was indicted, convicted and sentenced...DONE!

The question is whether or not the NFL and the American public are willing to accept that a convicted felon can be raised to the status of a professional athletic icon. If you can answer yes to this question then you should seriously question the accuracy of your own moral compass. Michael Vick is now a convicted felon serving time in a federal prison for committing an overt act of utter stupidity. His status as a professional athlete should no longer be in question regardless of his past or potential future contributions to the sport. He has failed his fans, the Falcons organization and the NFL by not living up to the standards of an athlete being paid $130M, and I don't care what color, sex, ethnicity or religion he happens to be. What he did was wrong, both morally and legally. He lied about it and was convicted for it... end of story. His future in the NFL should be chapter.

Blogger Randy -- 12/11/2007 6:02 PM  

This is a sad situation, and prayer is in order for Michael Vick and his family. It is amazing to see how many people want him to suffer, and no doubt he is suffering for his mistakes.

However, the last time I checked, God Almighty was the final judge, and still is. The judge in the court case has already made his ruling, and now all we can do is hope that Vick's remorse is genuine and that he is given a second chance to rebuild his life as we all deserve. Whether it is in the NFL or some other profession, I hope that he gets that chance.

The Lord is a forgiving God, and as long as folk repent of their sins, and turn away from evil, nothing anyone can say will make any difference at the end.

Being a public figure has its price, and because he is a talented, young black man, sometimes there is a lot of hatred and envy. Even if he were living a so called "perfect" life, young black men are targeted more precisely, and I know this from personal experience, because I gave birth to three of them, and believe me, it is not easy.

Nevertheless, this was a horrible mistake, and I am sure he and others will learn from this because the price is very high. We can't bring the deceased animals back, nor erase the past or future pain and suffering of the animals that were affected. However, I hope the dogs are taken care of with the $1 million dollars that has been set aside for them, and I hope everyone who fights dogs, chickens, or hunt any other animal for sport are encouraged to stop as well.

Even human boxing matches are barbaric, and after a few hits, one can question whether boxers have the mental capacity to make the decision to continue in this "sport", other than for the money.

Lastly, if as person does not have the time and affection for pets and animals in general, then they should leave them alone. There are plenty of people who love animals who are willing to take care of them and ensure that they are nurtured.

I am not an animal rights person, but believe in the rights of every living creature, and with humans supposedly being the most intelligent, then it is our responsibility to ensure that all God's creatures are treated with dignity. I believe that Vick and his family and friends have learned this, however painfully, first hand.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 12/12/2007 7:37 AM  

It is immoral to sentence Michael Vick for this so-called crime, as the crime itself is silly, and totally stupid.

Michael Vick is no more a criminal than any grocery store owner! Why is it such that the man who makes money off of the death and mutilation of chickens, pigs, cows, fish, shrimp, etc. a respectable business man where a Michael Vick a "threat" to society? By what standard is a dog more sacred than any of these other animals?

Laws should ONLY govern how human beings deal with one another. I believe that once we can get interaction within our own species down a bit better, then perhaps we should look into intra-species legislation. Perhaps at that point we will then grant dogs the right to a fair trial, health care and free education.


His being jailed is a moral tragedy.

Whenever I am in the park walking and see one of these animals licking his reproductive organs, I can't help but gag at the thought that the most magnificent quarterback to ever play the game is now held in a cage because of one of these feces eating mongrels. I am being deprived the exhilaration of witnessing what Michael Vick can do on the grid iron because he is being punished for killing dogs that he raised and cared for just like a farmer who raises chickens, cows, or pigs. Human achievement takes a back seat to the "rights" of another species. How does man decide which species can be killed for our benefit, and which ones can not? What is the magic formula? Who is the genius that developed this decision making process?

If man is moral to use the lives of other species to promote and sustain his life, then this is a principle that should be used universally or not at all. One man should not be penalized for killing animals where another man is free to do so. Michael Vick is no more a monster than the owners of pharmaceutical manufacturing companies who torture animals to death to develop cures for disease, or those who torture animals to death to provide the mink furs that so many of us covet. A dog is no more special than any other animal!

Clearly, Michael Vick is the victim of gross violation of property rights. Animals in a free and fair society are not citizens but the property of citizens. Animal rights are rights granted to them by becoming the property of human beings. Some are more lucky than others. One animal owner should not have the right to mandate what other animal owners can and can not do with the animals that they pay for.

Unfortunately we live in a society that no longer truly appreciates what property rights mean. We seem to believe that the consensus of a mob has a position of moral superiority over the individual. That for example a mob of hindus has the right to one day vote away the rights of Christians to eat hamburgers.

Our form of government as created made this an impossibility, but 200 years of sabotage and moral cowardice have eroded and outright re-written the constitution that was created to protect the property rights of its citizens.

What we now have is a pathetic population of mongrel worshipping mediocrity what would literally jail the greatest within our species to protect rights of a mangy, stupid, and filthy animal.

If Michael Vick is kept in prison much longer I don't know exactly what I am going to do but sit still won't be one of my options.

Anonymous Reason -- 1/01/2008 10:14 AM  

michael vick you are an idiot and dumbass and should be kicked out of the nfl league completely becuase of moral and ethical issues

Anonymous Anonymous -- 1/27/2008 5:21 PM  

Looks like Michael need some bankruptcy protection now!

Anonymous Warner -- 7/08/2008 2:54 PM  

I'm sorry to say this, but the fact that Vick is African-American has a huge impact on his image in the eyes of the public. Before all of this happened, that is, him killing dogs, the general perception of Michael Vick was that he was a little unrefined, liked to party a little, and most people thought of him as the typical black athlete. They were willing to 'put up' with the strip clubs, relatives being arrested, and other things because he was so talented and MARKETABLE. As soon as his market value went down (deservedly), he had no value. His persona went from superstar bad boy to just another black felon. Hopefully, he can repair his image and put forth the long-term effort to allow people to forget about this shameful chain of events. After all, if Martha Stewart can win the hearts of America...ok, Vick doesn't stand a chance.

Anonymous Ares Vista -- 5/21/2009 11:35 AM  

Well, they didn't let Pete Rose play baseball again. And, in my opinion, his crime was less than Vick's! Vick blew his career and has to pay the piper. No if's, or's, but's about it!

Anonymous Anonymous -- 6/05/2009 10:22 PM  

It's terrible that race continues to be an issue. Michael Vick killed animals, did his time, and that should be the end of it. Race has nothing to do with it. And by the way, saying that black people 'beat up your wives, leave your children, shoot your brothers, steal from each other and collect welfare' is just ignorant. All races do these things, and only a small-minded person would fight racism by using these little words.

Anonymous download music -- 6/30/2009 8:40 PM  

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