Michael Vick, one of the highest paid and highest profile players in the National Football League, was officially sentenced to 23 months in jail Monday.
The star Atlanta Falcons quarterback was given the prison sentence for his role in a dogfighting ring operating on his property in rural Virginia. The sentence was longer than the 12-to-18-month sentence recommended by the government.
Vick turned himself in three weeks ago, pending sentencing, to begin his term early. U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson was not bound by prosecutors' recommendations and could have sentenced Vick to five years in prison.
Michael Vick has to be wondering where it all went wrong.
Two of Michael Vick's co-defendants, Quanis Phillips and Purnell Pace, were sentenced earlier this month to terms of 21 and 18 months, respectively.
Vick is also facing similar dogfighting charges in the state of Virginia. The maximum penalty for those charges is up to five additional years in prison. The NFL star also violated the league's substance abuse policy â€" and the terms of his guilty plea in federal court â€" by testing positive for marijuana in September.
Outside the courthouse Monday, long before the sentencing began at 10 a.m., groups of animal-rights activists gathered to protest Vick's involvement in raising â€" and sometimes killing â€" pit bulls as part of Bad Newz Kennelz.
Michael Vick, the #1 overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft, has admitted to killing 6-8 dogs that did not perform well during testing sessions, as well as financing the operation as a whole and bankrolling / gambling on the dogfighting.
Continue reading the New York Times report on Vick's sentencing ...