Sunday, July 17, 2011

When You Get Over Casey, I'll Get Over Mikey

Today should be a marvelous day for all Michael Vick supporters everywhere. Once again a pseudo-celebrity is being released from prison, having completed her court assigned incarceration for a violent crime. Well, let me rephrase that - completing their sentence for a trivial crime associated with their alleged involvement in a violent crime. Casey Anthony served two and a half years for "providing false statements to investigators" and Vick served one and a half years for "promoting interstate gambling." Anthony COULD have spent the rest of her life - a life that MAY have been shortened by the State - in prison, and Vick COULD have spent upwards of six decades in state prison. But the courts have spoken, sentences have been served, and both are free to do as they please. They have served their time, so it's time to just get over it. At least that's how the sentiment goes for Vick.

Now, before we go any further, let me make one thing perfectly clear. In no way am I comparing the life of a human with the lives of dogs. I am not saying that because Vick admitted to killing "6 or 7" dogs he is worse than Anthony who is accused of killing her two year old daughter. All I am comparing is the prosecutions and "persecutions" of two violent offenders and the outcomes of those prosecutions.

What baffles my mind is the seeming willingness of so many people to just forget what it was that Michael Vick did and say "He served his time, get over it." And if that is the general public mindset, then why is the same opinion not being proffered for Ms. Anthony? Why did Vick not have to leave the state and change his name (Victor Michaels?) as it appears Casey Anthony will do? Why was he able to step right back in to his life almost as if nothing had ever happened? Where is the "Mother of the Year" award for Anthony? Why isn't Nike standing at the prison gates with a contract asking her to shill for their "Tiny Tot" footwear? At the very least, shouldn't someone be giving her a pair of the new Vick Nikes? The ones that seem capable of helping you outrun your past and dodge Justice.

Lead prosecutor in the Anthony case Jeff Ashton is being called everything from a bumbling buffoon to a moron to a legal fraud. He took his case to court, with no physical evidence outside a tiny skeleton and a piece of duct tape. There was no "hard" evidence to prove a murder had occurred, let alone who had done it. There was no admission of guilt. There were no eyewitnesses. There was some damning behavior on the part of the accused, and that was where the prosecution hung it's hat. It worked in the court of public opinion. Who could believe that a mother who was completely innocent would lie to police and ignore the fact that her daughter was missing for a month? The only problem is, in our legal system, the legal courts have the obligation to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime occurred, and that evidence apparently wasn't there.

The lead prosecutor in the Vick case was an entirely different matter. Gerald Poindexter had a mountain of physical evidence. He had the compound at 1915 Moonlight Road with it's assorted dog fighting paraphernalia. He had 9 canine corpses. He had over 50 living specimens of the treatment that dogs at Bad Newz Kennels received. He had eyewitness testimony. He had photographs of Vick at dogfights. And after he failed a polygraph, Vick confessed to killing "six or seven" under performing dogs. What did he do with this evidence? He told federal investigators that " he didn't like the idea of a young African American who had escaped from an underprivileged background and become something of an icon being dragged down, and he certainly didn't want to be a part of it." (Quote from The Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant) Let's take a look at a couple other "circumstantial" exhibits from the questionable prosecutor.

  • Poindexter had represented Michael Vick's father in a civil matter four years prior to his assignment prosecuting the young Vick.
  • After law enforcement had staged to execute a second search warrant on the Moonlight Road property, Poindexter called it off and revoked the warrant. A Virginia investigator claimed that this was the first time in all his years or experience that this had happened.
  • Poindexter repeatedly made contradictory statements to the press regarding the investigation.
With all of the physical evidence against Vick, the circumstantial evidence against Poindexter becomes at LEAST as damning as the evidence against Casey Anthony, don't you think? When a prosecutor who by all appearances is acting more like a defense attorney hands down a plea bargain with a 3 year suspended sentence, can we not agree that THAT was also a huge miscarriage of justice? Depending on how you do the math, at the very least, Michael Vick was looking at a potential 65 years in the state pen. It wasn't a matter of the laws not being tough enough, as it so often is in animal abuse cases. It wasn't a botched or ineffectual presentation to a jury. And, in my less than humble opinion, it wasn't a natural miscarriage of Justice - it was a borderline criminal act of corrupt favoritism that allowed a violent offender to walk out of jail scott free.

We will probably never know for sure what happened to little Caylee Anthony. I mourn for her, and I mourn for the lack of Justice in bringing those responsible for her death to account. We don't know if it was malice or neglect or pure accident that led to her death, but that death and the circumstances following scream for someone to be held accountable.

We know without a shadow of a doubt what happened to at least 60 of the dogs that were part of Bad Newz Kennels. We have 9 of their bodies and we have 51 living testimonies to a lifetime of abuse and torment. Many of these poor creatures had had the dog beaten out of them. They were quivering lumps of living terror. Some still suffer those psychological scars. We have eyewitness testimony as to how Vick helped dispose of the 9 that were found - some by hanging, in other cases stuffing their heads in 5 gallon pail of water to drown them. And in one case, picking the Little Red Dog up and swinging it over his head like a jump rope and beating it on the ground repeatedly until nearly every bone in it's body was broken and it finally expired. A necropsy on one of the corpses corroborates this testimony.

Justice may have been cheated in the Anthony case, but in the Vick case she was bound, beaten, sexually assaulted and left for dead on the side of the road. Yes, I believe that Casey Anthony probably got away with murder - whether accidental, premeditated or as the result of a psychotic break, I don't know, and I doubt anyone ever will. However, I also think she will forever live a life of seclusion, shunned wherever she goes, forced to hide her past and try to stay below the radar. No obscure cable TV network is going to give her accolades, no apparel company is going to ask her to be their spokes person, John Walsh and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children are not likely to start lobbying for her to be allowed to adopt a child. She's pretty much toast, so I am not overly concerned about her at this point.

Michael Vick on the other hand is an entirely different matter. He IS being viewed as a role model by American youth. And dog fighting arrests are up 300% in Philadelphia since his arrival. He IS being given millions to shill products for companies. And he IS being allowed to just walk on by all his past deeds as if they never happened. And the sports media is especially culpable in this cover-up. They are quick to sweep his past misdeeds under the rug and blur the lines by only pointing out that he "was involved in a dog fighting ring." There is never any mention of the level of "involvement" to which he has confessed. They are eager to project a "feel good comeback story" with nary a mention of just exactly WHAT it is that he is trying to "come back" from. And all the while championing that sacred mantra "He's served his time! He's changed! He's reformed!" I call "Shenaningans" on that one!

Michael Vick told JB on 60 Minutes "I was unable to say to certain people 'We gotta stop. I am worried about my career' " His career. Not "This shit is WRONG!" Just his career. He told another interviewer "I'm happy I turned out to be the person I am. I wouldn't change anything about my life if I could." This was AFTER his "difficulties". How can we be sure? Because the interviewer was as baffled by that answer that any right thinking person would be. He pressed Vick for a clarification. Vick's reply? "I'd change the prison sentence to 5 or 6 months from 18." When he had a chance to talk with one of the people who had adopted one of his dogs do you think he took that opportunity? After all, he has said that he "thinks about those dogs all the time". Nah, he was whisked away by his entourage who told the man "We don't care about no dogs." I don't believe he is changed. I don't believe is reformed. I don't believe he is in the least bit sorry or ashamed of his actions , only sorry about having to face the consequences. And truthfully, I suspect that Michael Vick has not spent his last day looking at the inside of a jail cell. I think he is OJ ver. 2.0 . I just hope when he goes off next time no innocents get hurt.

So to all of you who keep saying "Michael Vick served his time. He deserves a second chance. Get over it." It's time to practice what you preach. Casey Anthony has served her time as proscribed by a court of law. By your logic it is time to "get over it." Unless you are a colossal hypocrite you need to just pour yourself a nice tall glass of Shut The Hell Up and let her have her second chance. Who knows? Maybe someday in the not too distant future the National Felons League will start selling Anthony jerseys and you can buy one and spend $100 to stand in line and have her autograph it. How does that sound?


  1. I am not going to comment on the Anthony case as I live in another country and don't know much about it.....However I do know a LOT about the VICK case and I will air my views on it.

    I find it absolutely disgusting that a person who committed these heinous acts against defenseless animals is allowed to pink up where he left off and go on to make millions without any real regret!!
    He says that he regrets what he did and yet in another interview says...."I wouldn't change anything about my life if I could"......

    In my opinion....the ONLY regret in Vick's life was that he was careless enough to get caught!!
    If he was regretful.....he should stand down as Nike's front man and be an ambassador for the animals.

    Now THAT in my eyes would redeem him...

  2. Very well written. And I agree with every word. Thank you.