NPR logo Vick Pleads Guilty to Federal Dogfighting Charges

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Vick Pleads Guilty to Federal Dogfighting Charges

Michael Vick

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick arrives at federal court in Richmond, Va. Win McNamee, Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Win McNamee, Getty Images

News Headlines: Aug. 27, 2007

USA Today: Vick Formally Enters Guilty Plea — "In a court hearing that lasted just under 20 minutes Monday, Michael Vick entered a guilty plea to a conspiracy charge related to a federal dogfighting investigation that could send the Atlanta Falcons quarterback to prison for a year or more."

Update: Vick Apologizes, Asks for Forgiveness

Read the text version of Vick's apology.

What do you think of Vick's statements? What, in your opinion, would be a fair punishment?

More Headlines:
International Herald Tribune: U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Resigns

The Associated Press: Director John Singleton Won't Be Cited For Fatal Crash

The New York Times: Bring in the Reggae, Hold the Hate

USA Today: San Francisco Hopes to Reverse Black Flight

The New York Times: Liberian Ex-Leader's War Crimes Trial Is Stalled



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Vick's apology showed someone of a contrite spirit. I would have questioned his remorse if I had seen him reading from a previously written script.

That been said, I know he still has to face the consequence of his actions and I think the 12 to 18 months sentence is fair. I hope the tough judge presiding over this case could get over his reputation and give a fair sentence regardless of his personal feelings over the matter.

Sent by Moji | 9:17 AM | 8-28-2007

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 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.

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

Sent by Animal Chaplain Nancy Cronk | 7:43 PM | 8-29-2007