I hope this doesn't get moved to the Public Policy Board. I don't venture over there seeing as how I don't know much about the public, or policy for that matter.
Vick was sentenced to 20 years in dog years.
Don't feel sorry for Vick he should have gotten 12 months (10 dog years) but he lied to the investigators, he failed a drug test, his lawyer found out what his coaches in Atlanta had discovered...this guy is uncoachable. He did not take direction any better as a defendant than he did as a football player.
What I have said is that this federal prosecution is POLITICAL, it is, and that the prosecution, if it thought it could prove its case, should have. I do not believe that they could have proven its case. I believe that that is why they upped the anti and threatened him with a RICO charge, which I believe is UNJUST.
1. The federal government has no interest warranting a criminal prosecution of someone who fights pit bulls. If locals want to make it a crime and prosecute folks, let them knock themselves out. If Vick is guilty, then those guys should have had to prove it. Then, the locals could have sent him to jail for as long as local law permits. By local, I am including the State of Va here too.
2. I do not believe that the Feds had the goods on Vick. I believe that the use of a RICO charge threat was/is a perversion of the criminal justice system. In the context of the many other perversions of the criminal justice system on a Federal level which we have seen in the last 30 years and which is otherwise unprecedented in modern history, I am concerned about such matters. I have outlined some of those other perversions.
3. As a public policy matter, there are many grounds upon which I am against this abuse of power by the Feds. On philosophical grounds as well.
I see no benefit to the Republic that is served by this prosecution.
I do not know whether Vick is guilty or not of a crime. Nor do I care.My principal beef here is that he should never have been prosecuted by the Feds, and, if he had to be, they should not have RICOed him.
I do not care whether Vick plays in the NFL again.
I enjoyed watching Vick play in college. I thought he was the most exciting football player on that level I have ever seen. Vick probably brought more money into the state university system in Virginia than anybody in the history of Virginia. Such people usually get cut a break when it comes to sentencing. Vick gets prosecuted twice. I think that that sucks.
T is going to demand that Blank take all the money the Falcon's ever made on selling No. 7 jerseys, all the extra seats Vick filled (just measure tonight's game against attendance in previous years) and donate it to dogs (probably Maggie).
Only problem is, nobody will be watching because the only reason that they would have been watching is sitting in jail.
Last edited by greybeard; 12-10-2007 at 07:14 PM. Reason: make explicit who "he" and T are; take out stuff.
On a philosophical level, I agree with you that the criminalization of the sport of dog fighting is best left to the states. IIRC, the regulation of PEOPLE fighting (i.e., boxing) is in fact left to the states. Do we care more about the health and welfare of animals than of people?
As a purely Constitutional matter, though, I fail to see where the outlawing of dog fighting by Congress is beyond the reach of the Commerce Clause. Congress could likewise outlaw boxing, but has not chosen to do so.
This is one of those areas in which people may reasonably disagree, I think. Criminal law is generally thought of as being the province of the states. A simple murder or assault will not normally be vindicated under Federal law. But a conspiracy that reaches across state lines to commit murder or assault is correctly the province of the Federal government. How does this apply to dog fighting? Congress has banned the trade and made it criminal. It's not difficult to see this as permitted interstate regulation under the Commerce Clause even if you disagree with it on the basis of Federalism.
I actually agree with you personally, as a matter of political philosophy: the Federal courts have better things to do with their time than protect dogs. Virginia is the proper jurisdiction to try Vick from that perspective.
Last edited by Johnboy; 12-10-2007 at 07:24 PM. Reason: To simplify
"There was a time not too long ago when children were considered to be property of parents, and as such parents could do pretty much as they chose - there was no power of the Sovereign to restrict a man's freedom to treat any animal (substitue child here)that he owned fair and square exactly as he wished. Folks were free to beat children with sticks until they couldn't walk, incest was never prosecuted, and sometimes children just "vanished". We made progress as a people, and we no longer believe that. Sometimes we move forward as a species."
All I can say is, wow, allenmurray, you go boy!
My recollection about the latter is that the Republican appointees to the Court struck down all Roosvelt's New Deal legislation predicated on the Commerce Clause as being Constitutionally infirm. He promised to pack the court, went out and got him some new Justices, and voilla. Now, there is a creeping back among some so-called strict constructionalists on the court on this whole Commerce Clause basis for Federal Regulation.
I'd have to think that Scalia and Thomas, not to mention the newbies, would be aghast that Congress seized on the Commerce Clause as a basis for interfering a man's fundamental property rights by passing the law we are discussing. I mean, those guys have to believe that, if a man does not have the right to kick his dog, what does freedom mean.
PS I am not for cutting back on the reach of the Commerce Clause, just so we are clear. Nor am I for beating children, or incest. Glad I could make that clear.
Last edited by greybeard; 12-10-2007 at 07:31 PM. Reason: add sentence to paragraph one.
Come on Wilson, lighten up. The guy is in jail. Do you need also to be right, 100 percent?
I was merely echoing the sentiment that the laws are meant, in part, to express the will of the people. The argument that "the founding fathers didn't want it so" doesn't hold water, because as I intimated, they didn't pass laws on a lot of things that we've subsequently decided were a good idea. Moreover, plenty of people would submit that laws against cruelty to animals jibe with one of your three rubrics for legal reasoning by serving the Aristotelian "good."
At this point, I, as a resident of the Atlanta metroplex, would like to offer my sincerest apologies to everyone on this thread. The apologies are for y'all having to put up with the Vick-less Falcons. That's right, while constitutional/Aristotle/RICO law is being discussed on this thread, the Atlanta football franchise is disgracing the ESPN MNF telecast.
THIS GAME STINKS!
The Falcons stink.
Please do not avoid these facts in your discussions of Mike/Michael/"the artist formerly known as Ron Mexico" Vick. The Falcons stink ... and they are stinking it up on national TV.
Can I state it more clearly?
*Thank you. You may now return to the Vick thread.
*EarlJam: Please proceed with Thread-Hijack attempt #1. Red-rum!!
Did he just say (in re the possibility of Vick making it back to the NFL):
It in part depends on what kind of shape he keeps himself in, ... whether he eats fried chicken and fries ...
PUHLEASE tell me I was dreaming that!
No ... just erase the Falcons from any more national TV games. Where's the commish?
Fortunately, there are no Dukies on the Falcons... right?
Man ... here I was waiting for Blank's interview, and I'm in a foul mood, dead tired, and dreaming of food.
Maybe that's it? Looking for some clarification here.