Sunday, September 16, 2007

Vick Sentencing Suggestions: Judge Hudson and Animal Advocacy

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that District Court Judge Henry Hudson, who will be sentencing Michael Vick and his three co-defendants on charges of dogfighting, has allowed 11 animals rights/welfare groups to file briefs detailing "the harm to dogs" and recommending a jail sentence. The groups are prohibited from participating in the sentencing. Parties not directly involved in cases generally are allowed to file such briefs.

Judge Hudson will also receive sentencing recommendations from the Federal government, Vick's lawyers, and the Probation office, according to The New York Times. The groups are asking that Vick receive a sentence just under five years; the government has said it would recommend a sentence of not more than 18 months, if Vick continues his cooperation; Judge Hudson has made it clear that he is not obligated to follow any sentencing recommendations.

The NFL is waiting until after Vick's sentencing to make a final determination on his football career, though Vick is currently suspended from play.

While it's difficult to find information regarding the sentencing status of Vick's co-defendants, it's said that the groups are requesting a longer jail sentence for Vick due to his position as leader and founder of the dogfighting ring, as well as his funding of it.

I suggest a minimum five year sentence for Vick, if he is indeed cooperating with the Federal government to shut down major players in dogfighting. Why? Because he was more than the founder and funder of a dogfighting ring. He was a participant in the cruel death of the animals. Because his kennel sold dogs that were bred for fighting. Because he was a major player beyond just this one kennel. Because he enabled other illegal activities.

To read the AJC story, click on this link. To read the NY Times article, click on this link.

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