I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of people talking about Michael Vick not deserving of a second chance. Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson recently said Vick should have been executed for his dog fighting enterprise. Come on people, get a grip. It’s almost un-American to say someone doesn’t deserve a second chance. Many people get a third, fourth and fifth chance after doing wrong. We give many white collar criminals, politicians, bankers, Wall street moguls and executives more chances than Vick received. In fact, some white collar criminals who knowingly and willingly broke our economy for their own personal greed, didn’t need a second chance. They never received indictments, trial or jail time.
The criminal system already made an example of Michael Vick. He received 21 months of jail plus 2 months home detention for his involvement in the criminal dog fighting enterprise. He had no prior criminal record. While I do not condone his acts against “man’s best friend”, that’s my point. His acts were neither the killing or harming of a man, woman, boy or girl. As a trial lawyer and former prosecutor, I know that some persons who killed someone while driving while drunk don’t receive as harsh of a sentence as the one received by Michael Vick. Just ask Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. And I’ve never heard of anyone saying that drunk drivers don’t deserve a second chance after release. Domestic violence offenders rarely receive 21 months in jail for the physical, mental and emotional abuses committed against their spouses and partners, which can last a lifetime. And I don’t recall the same outcries or calls for execution against the assaulters of domestic violence victims who have been beaten and brutalized.
What is fueling these insults against Michael Vick is the fact that he’s had a second chance and so far, has done well with it. We should be using Vick as an example to help troubled youth and young offenders to turn their lives around if given a second chance. Michael Vick is a young, black man who is proving to society that he not only deserves a second chance but is doing quite well with it.
I wonder if Brett Favre committed the same acts, would Tucker Carlson be asking for his execution. I doubt it. For some, Vick’s second crime is being a Black man and making good on his second chance.
Debbie Hines is a trial lawyer and former prosecutor. She holds a Juris Doctorate from George Washington University Law School and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post.