I'm not writing to blast you for your conduct, which you have now admitted. I am writing to ask you that same question Jay Leno asked when Hugh Grant came on his show after being arrested for solicitation of prostitution while dating the beautiful Elizabeth Hurley.
"What were you thinking?"
That's what I really want to know. As criminal defense lawyers we are taught not to judge our clients. I am not judging you, I am merely wondering what brought you to this point.
I assume you spent your childhood dreaming of being a star in the NFL. Many kids do, but few accomplish what you did. Not only did you become a star in the NFL, you became the starting quarterback for a team in a large metropolitan area. You had endorsements, a major contract providing you with more money that you could ever need for you, your family, maybe your friends, and anyone else who you wanted to help. I bet you rarely had to pay for a drink, meal, or many things you went out to do, and I know that you had many fans, including children.
Ever heard of golf, tennis, skiing, hunting (the legal killing of animals), collecting art, reading, do-it-yourself home repair? Those are hobbies. I guess dog fighting and killing dogs is a hobby as well, but again, what were you thinking?
Seriously, did you think no one would find out? Did you think it was no big deal? Michael, people care more about animals than they do people. Not sure about that? Do you ever see huge protests after a story about a murder on the news? But when there's a story about animal abuse, look out. I'm not critical of this notion, it's just the way life is, and you should have realized this when you murdered those dogs.
Dogs Michael! Man's best friend! When people were listening to the stories about your case, they were in bed with their yorkies and poodles, or on the couch with their labrador retrievers and mutts.
This is why you will never play in the NFL again. Hell, I doubt you will ever coach a kids sports team in your life. "Daddy, who is Michael Vick?"
Prison will not be the worst thing for you Michael, nor will never playing in the NFL again. It will be that you will forever be known as a dog killer, by everyone.
I am one who will hope that society gives you the benefit of understanding that you will pay a debt to society and be entitled to move on with your life. But that is a pipe dream in today's world.
It just makes me wonder, what you were thinking.
I Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com
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