Vick Co-Defendants Given Prison Sentence For Dog Fighting Charges

VickMichael Vick’s co-defendants, Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips were given their prison sentence on Friday by U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson for their involvement in an illegal dog fighting operation.

Peace was sentenced to 18 months in prison, Phillips was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

While imposing his sentence, Hudson said, “You may have thought this was sporting but it was very callous and cruel.”

Hudson chose to stay within federal sentencing guidelines when he handed down the prison sentences for Peace and Phillips. He could have sentenced the men up to five years in prison, if he found the circumstances warranted it.

Because Hudson stayed within federal sentencing guidelines, some legal experts said this may be good news for Vick.

Richmond criminal defense attorney Steve Benjamin said, “If Vick was hoping to get the lowest sentence possible, this is not a good indication that’s going to happen. But the most important news is that the judge stayed within the guideline range. All things considered, this was very good news for Vick.”

B.J. Bernstein, a criminal defense attorney in Atlanta, said that Vick could receive a harsher sentence because he did not cooperate with the investigation and he also financed the dog fighting operation.

Vick’s federal sentencing guidelines could increase depending on how a U.S. probation officer views the case and if Hudson agrees.

Source: CNN, AJC

Photo: Associated Press

(Thanks Pit Bull Lover, Menusux)

11 Responses to “Vick Co-Defendants Given Prison Sentence For Dog Fighting Charges”

  1. Denise says:

    I don’t by how sorry Vick or any of the rest of those animals are. They are animals and no its not a race thing. I know lots of afracian american people and they were not raised like that nor do they act like that. These people are sorry they got caught. I think they had this sick pervision watching the female dogs being raped and watching the dogs being tortued in the ring. Let’s face it I live close to detroit and they do this for the money and get quite wealthy and pay no taxes. Judge Hudson did a fine jo here except 18 years would have been just right for the sentence. You can’t help these people

  2. Lynn says:

    I’m disappointed. I wish he had sentenced them for a longer period. And even that wouldn’t have been enough.

    I believe December 10th is the sentencing date for Vick. It’s time to start stirring up protests and to bombard the Judge’s fax. Wouldn’t want him to think that just because this issue has “died down” in the news media that we don’t care about justice.

    Who has Judge Hudson’s fax and email? Please post.

  3. Denise says:

    I think I wrote a letter to judge hudson about this but I think we need to do something. we could google his name and see if we can get an address. I thiik they will get off to fast for all the damage they have done. Denise

  4. Kevin says:

    HA! HA! Should have used the race card. I hope some one beats those two idiots with stick or blunt object while serving time.

  5. Lynn says:

    I came across this:

    The public is requested not to call the judge’s chambers with opinions or comments. Comments can be sent in writing to:

    Judge Henry E. Hudson, U.S. District Court
    1000 E. Main St.
    Richmond, VA 23219.

    Bes to send those letters NOW before the holiday rush.

    Also, FYI:

  6. JonO says:

    Hudson should have gone for more time; but maybe he’s saving the best for Vick. 5 years sounds just about right.

  7. straybaby says:

    from another article:

    “Swartz told the judge Phillips was sorry and would be willing to “help address the issue of dogfighting” as part of his probation.

    “That’s going to have to flow from the heart, not an order from me,” Hudson said.”

    i think that says a lot about the judge. he’s not going to order them to understand what they did. or give them a lighter sentence for empty gestures . . . i think Vick may be looking for a new career after his sentence is served, especially if the state weighs in in kind . . .

    that’s one hell of a message to kids. this guy had it all . . .

  8. Sharon says:

    A slap on the wrist. If the same judge sentences Vick we will all see him back in a football uniform in no time. Wonder what the judge got paid for the sentence he laid down? season tickets?

  9. Nora and Rufus says:

    This is not enough punishment for the degree of suffering and torture of dogs that these monsters were responsible for through all those years. My God. May God strike them down. I would not want to be them.

  10. Tanya says:

    Just an FYI, most federal judges are not swayed by phone calls or letters. They are there to apply the law as written, to the circumstances as presented. They aren’t there (federal judges, anyhow) to win popularity contests.

    I’m also confused by this article, as written it states “B.J. Bernstein, a criminal defense attorney in Atlanta, said that Vick could receive a harsher sentence because he did not cooperate and financed the dog fighting operation.” - do they mean “did not cooporate with teh investigation?”

    thanks for any clarity offered.

  11. straybaby says:

    “did not cooporate with teh investigation?”

    yes, he waited until all the others had plead guilty. he says he’ll co-operate now, but he was a bit *slow* on the “do the right thing”. he’s also gotten in trouble once with the judge since then, so . . . they are sentencing the guys in the order they came forward i believe. Vick acted like he didn’t know squat for too long and he ran and financed the operation, so that may also play into his sentence more so than the others. i don’t expect he’ll get 5, but it would be nice. if he gets less, he may still lose his career as the state is trying him next.

    dude’s a loser.

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