Michael Vick Released from PrisonPublished May 20, 2009
Michael Vick, the former National Football League star player for the Falcons, was released from a Kansas prison, early this morning. He will then begin home confinement in Virginia, according to one of his attorneys. Vick hopes that he will eventually be reinstated to his career as a professional football player and work toward restoring his public image. Larry Woodward, one of Vick's attorneys said, "It's a happy day for him to be starting this part of the process. He looks forward to meeting the challenges he has to meet. His first priority is spending time with his children and his loved ones". A former big time earner, during the completion of his home confinement sentence, he will be permitted to leave his home and work for a $10 per hour job on a construction crew, and other activities arranged with his probation officer. New rules will be set for him when he begins his three year probation period upon his release from Federal custody. What I find fascinating is that Vick says that he wants to work for the Humane Society of the United States, (HSUS). Vick met with Wayne Pacelle, the president of HSUS after he requested a meeting with him while he was at the federal prison in Leavenworth. He wants to contribute to a program which is geared toward ending dog fighting among urban teens. What gets me wondering if this is an authentic desire to make a positive impact on these teens, or is it a way for him to be ease his return to his professional career in football. Vick's fall from glory began in April 2007 raided his cousin's Surry County property in Virginia, during a drug investigation, with the resulting seizure of dozens of dogs discovered on this property. Some were seriously injured, and equipment used in dog fighting was found. Three months later, a federal indictment was issued, and three of his "Bad Newz Kennels" partners were charged with an interstate dog fighting conspiracy. At first Vick denied any connection with them and all pleaded "innocent". Eventually, however all four admitted their guilt and were given prison sentences. Vick received the longest of the sentences and received a three-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to State dog fighting charges. Outlined in the indictment were the horrendous details about the dogs that were hanged, electrocuted, drowned and subjected to other acts of cruelty. However, due to the public outcry and outrage which ensued after the Vick story was released, several states tightened their laws about dog fighting. This drew public attention to the horrors surrounding the dog fighting industry which all dog lovers pray will help to end this cruel and inhumane "sport" permanently. Some loyal supporters still feel that Vick's punishment was more severe than deserved due to his celebrity profile and that people make mistakes in judgment. What are your thoughts? Do you feel that Vick's punishment fits the crime? Leave a comment and share.