According to the U. S. Marshalls service, Michael Vick, former Atlanta Falcon’s quarterback, turned himself into authorities today to start serving a prison sentence for his conviction for running an illegal dogfighting ring. Vick turned himself in around noon and is being held at Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia, until his sentencing hearing scheduled for December 10th.
CNN reported the following shown in italics –
Vick pleaded guilty in August after three associates admitted their own roles in the operation and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.
“From the beginning, Mr. Vick has accepted responsibility for his actions and his self-surrender further demonstrates that acceptance,” Vick’s attorney, Billy Martin, said in a statement.
“Michael wants to again apologize to everyone who has been hurt in this matter and he thanks all of the people who have offered him and his family prayers and support during this time,” Martin’s statement said.
CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin speculated that Vick started his sentence early “to get it out of the way.”
“Also, by surrendering before he’s sentenced on December 10, he shows a measure of remorse to the judge who will sentence him and I think he hopes will get a somewhat lesser sentence because the judge does have some discretion,”
With Vick now behind bars several questions loom:
(1) Will Vick’s voluntary reporting for his sentence sways the judges decision to show some mercy at his sentencing hearing?
(2) With Vick suspended indefinitely by the NFL, will his acceptance of responsibility soften the NFL’s stance toward Vicks return to football?
(3) When his sentence is complete, will Vick use the experience and his fame to positively influence the lives of those who have faithfully followed his career?
As a motivational speaker – I speak frequently to businesses, associations as well as colleges and universities on the subject of Ethics and Choices. Every choice has a consequence. Michael Vick enjoyed, what he felt was the sport of dog fighting. It is not my intent to debate whether that action was a sport or not. What ever I might believe, reality is – that action was illegal and Vick today gained a taste of reality as he faced the first night of his incarceration.
I remember my first night and I can say with clarity of mind…it was not fun – nor would I wish it for anyone. I wish Michael the best in his new found circumstances. Likewise, I hope he gains personal insight and the wisdom to use this experience not only for his own good, but the good that he can bring to others.
Every choice has a consequence.
Texas Motivational Speaker – Chuck Gallagher signing off…