It does not appear that Michael Vick has a very easy road ahead of him. In what many thought was a surprise, Vick was indicted on charges stemming from a dog fighting operation on a property he owned in Virginia. The problem for Vick is, this case will not be easy to defend himself against.
We usually hear about athletes and stars getting out of jail time when they are convicted of a crime. We also hear about the “guilty” stars being found “not guilty” even when they appear to be as guilty as can be.
The big problem for Vick is that this is no state court he is in. Vick will be in federal court and will be facing the United States Government. You may recall Jamal Lewis’s run-in with the federal government. That landed him months in federal prison, and all he did was make a phone call.
Going up in a case against the federal government is a lot tougher than going up against state prosecutors and investigators. The federal system has a lot more talent in their lawyers and investigators than the states do. They also have a lot more resources, including more money, at their disposal.
Vick has some other huge troubles. One of these is the fact that he faces conspiracy charges. That means that if these events did take place on Vick’s property, he can be charged whether he was present or not. He is also at the mercy of his co-defendants. Any one of the four of them, or all of them, could make a deal to testify against Vick. I expect his “friends” to turn on him in an instant for the right deal because federal prison is no fun.
Another problem for Vick is that his case will be based in Richmond. Richmond court’s are very tough on crime and have that reputation, especially in the federal system. Richmond will probably not have much mercy for Vick.
Probably the biggest problem for Vick occurs if he is convicted. He will have been convicted of participating in or facilitating dog fighting. No court or jury will have mercy for a person involved in the torturing of animals. This is a heinous crime, and the details are even worse than can be imagined. Vick will most certainly receive substantial jail time if he is convicted.
Add to all this the fact that Vick will still have to deal with the NFL and you have a man who has a lot of fighting ahead of him. While he may be able to play this season for the Atlanta Falcons, if you were a Falcons fan, would you want him to. Vick will be facing up to 6 years in federal prison and will probably, if Pacman Jones is any barometer, be facing at least a one-year suspension from the NFL.
I haven’t even gotten into any evidence against Michael Vick, which is both substantial and gruesome and seems to be more damning by the hour.
My advice to Michael Vick, don’t blow all your money on your defense, because he may be jobless for a long time.