More Charges for Vick?

Looks like Michael Vick will face additional charges as the Virginia Commonwealth Attorney Gerald Poindexter says that he will be submitting his case to a grand jury on Sept. 25th.

He has not determined which charges he would file but said he would aggressively prosecute based on previously acquired evidence and some of the evidence presented in the federal case. Dogfighting and animal cruelty are felonies in Virginia with animal cruelty charges holding penalties of up to five years in jail for each animal killed.

“The execution of these animals — and the manner in which they were executed — is startlingly offensive and demanding of prosecution,” Poindexter said.

Statements made in the guilty pleas reached by Phillips and Peace that they accompanied Vick in the execution of eight dogs this April and fought dogs on Vick’s Surry County, Va., property solidified Poindexter’s decision to move forward with prosecution.

Well, let me see, we know that 8 dogs were killed so it is possible that Vick could be facing upto 40 years in prison. Now I’m not familiar with the law nor am I a lawyer, so that is an upper-bound and depending on what charges are actually broght and how many could radically change that number.

This article brings up an interesting point: one can be banned from the NFL for life if one is either gambling or associated with gambling. Again, I’m not familiar with this rule and if gambling on dog fights would be sufficient to trigger this kind of discipline.

If this article is accurate in the claims by Vick’s co-defendants then Vick might be a bit more worried about what will happen with the NFL than with the prosecutors and judicial system.

Specifically, they say that the Bad Newz Kennels dog fighting ring’s “operation and gambling monies were almost exclusively funded by Vick.”

The animal cruelty angle of the Vick investigation is the reason it has drawn so much public outrage, but it’s the gambling angle that could easily cost Vick his NFL career. The NFL’s rules couldn’t be clearer when it comes to gambling: The contract that Vick and every NFL player signs says that “Associating with gamblers or with gambling activities in a manner tending to bring discredit to the NFL” can lead to a lifetime ban.


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Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Eneils Bailey says:

    I would be surprised if Vick spends time in prison and is able to make an NFL comeback.

    First of all, Vick is not a player to base a franchise around. Physical skills are bountiful, intellectual capabilities have always been suspect.

    As a scrambler, he is a lot like Fran Tarkenton, maybe much better, how many Super Bowls did Tarkenton win?

    He has always been at best an average short to medium passer, relying on his scrambling ability to buy enough time to open up long patterns.

    Although his running and scrambling abilities exceed every quarterback in the NFL, he does not have the physical stamina or or physical makeup to take a constant pounding.

    Above average defenses coupled with an above average ground pounding game win Super Bowls.

    A team with a player that would kill your little daughter’s puppy do not and should not win Super Bowls.

  2. Bithead says:

    Personally, I can’t argue against Eneils at all.

    I will say, for the record, that this latest round of charges against him, raises this whole thing to a whole new level.

    If any of you have been watching the press conferences with Roger Goodell, you will see that this has gotten to the point where it is interfering with any serious discussion about football. Goodell’s out there trying to raise interest in the new season, but is now spending all his time, seemingly, addressing the dogfighting issue. I made the observation last evening as regards an interview he conducted in the training camp of the Detroit Lions. To say the very least, it was a painful affair to watch. He keeps trying to bring the subject back to football, and the press keeps trying to push it towards the damage being done to the league by Michael Vick. As a result, to my eye, Roger Goodell takes on the appearance of someone more interested in controlling damage than getting at the truth.

    At some point, and I suspect it will need to be very soon, the NFL is going to have to step up to this and deal with it if they want to come out with any credibility at all. The league is on record as saying that they want to await the outcome of the legal processes. On the surface, this seems laudable, but it seems to me a rather convenient dodge. Since when is the league required to wait until legal action is completed in such a clear-cut case?

    In my view, Roger Goodell is doing his damnedest to see Michael Vick in uniform at some point before the end of the season. Clearly, his concern is about the money being lost. The league has spent an awful lot of time and effort to turn Mr. Vick into the star power draw that he was as of the beginning of the summer.

    What, in my view, he seems to be missing , is that star power no longer exists. If the league does not act soon to separate Michael Vick from the NFL I suspect that the amount of fan dissatisfaction is going to cost him and the NFL as a whole, far more than what the loss of one of its star power creations.

    And I wonder, if Roger Goodell’s logic has brought him quite that far.

  3. I think it is a sad commentary that we, as a culture, our using the Vick story to compare “What’s worse?” “What’s worse”, we ask, ” carelessly fathering illegitimate children, or dogfighting?”. “Dogfighting or rape?” “Dogfighting or racism?” “Dogfighting or hateful nationalism?” “Dogfighting or (fill in the blank)….?”

    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.

    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