Sunday, August 26, 2007

Vick's Lawyers Help Judge Henry Hudson

This is sweet:

"Our position has been that we are going to try to help Judge [Henry Hudson] understand all the facts and Michael's role," Vick's lead defense attorney, Billy Martin, said in telephone interview with the Associated Press. "Michael's role was different than others associated with this incident." Well, they got that right. (Quote courtesy of Sports Illustrated/CNN. To read that story, click on this link.)

So, Judge Henry needs help?

Maybe this will help.

In a paper titled Dog Fighting Detailed Discussion, by Hanna Gibson, published by The Animal Legal and Historical Center at Michigan State University College of Law, the culture of dogfighting is summarized for us "lay" people. (To read this publication, click on this link or visit this web site:

Ms. Gibson outlines equipment and training materials, drugs (etc.), and bait. She talks about the violence and drug trafficking associated with these fights and peripheral criminal activity, types of dogs used, and the physical abuse of the animals. She also speaks to the sociology of dogfighting, and the self-justification of it. She speaks of denial, responsibility, injury, loyalties, and condemnation, as well as legal issues - and mentions 'busts' that have led to major drug trafficking networks. Perhaps most importantly, Ms. Gibson talks about the desensitization of a society.

For an understanding of dogfighting and a society that supports it, please read Ms. Gibson's short, but succinct, paper. Let's hope Vick's lawyers indeed help Judge Hudson understand Vick's role in perpetuating a violent society.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great links to animal law!

    I watched Vick's public apology with my little son who USED TO wear Michael Vick jerseys to school. It is disturbing to think a certain percentage of the population is honestly going to be swayed by Michael Vick's "enlightenment" carefully crafted by his overpaid attorneys. Call me a cynic, but I don't believe a man who has been allegedly torturing animals since childhood coincidentally has a religious epiphany as a result of getting caught and losing his job. I hope I am wrong.

    If there is anything good about the Michael Vick story, it is that there is an emerging increased awareness about animal cruelty and animal fighting. There is so much anger about this issue. If we channel it into a positive direction, hopefully, something good can come of it. However...

    I think it is a sad commentary that we, as a culture, are using the Vick story to compare "What's worse?" "What's worse", we ask, "carelessly fathering illegitimate children, or dogfighting?". "Dogfighting or gambling?" "Dogfighting or rape?" "Dogfighting or racism?" "Dogfighting or hateful nationalism?" "Dogfighting or (fill in the blank)....?" The comparisons to dogfighting have been endless.

    Dogfighting is one more piece of evidence our country is in need of a spiritual transformation (please note I said spiritual and not necessarily religious). Animals are sentient beings - they feel pain, and they suffer, just like we do. They are not more important, or less important than human beings, but like human beings, they are important, too.

    Dogfighting pits one dog against another until one of them dies. The survivor gets his flesh torn off, ears ripped off, eyes pulled out, etc., and the reward for being "a winner" is to writhe in pain until the next fight. Enough said. The pictures make my flesh crawl. The losers are tortured, beaten, starved, electrocuted or drowned. For what? Because these poor creatures were unlucky enough to be born a dog!

    Every major faith teaches its followers to be responsible stewards of animals and the Earth. Please help us get the word out that caring for animals, just like caring for people, is an important part of just being a decent person and citizen. If we make this a priority, there will be no more dogfighting horror stories, and no more pointless comparisons of evils. Let us all rise, together, to be better people than we are today, shall we?

    Chaplain Nancy Cronk


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