Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison for his role in a dogfighting ring.
US District Judge Henry E. Hudson imposed the sentence Monday, December 10, saying the National Football League superstar "hadn't taken full responsibility for his role in a dog fighting ring, including the killing of pit bulls that did not pass tests of their fighting prowess." Attending the hearing in a black and white prison jumpsuit, Vick was also sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
"I'm willing to deal with the consequences and accept responsibility for all my actions," Vick said. Then being told by Henry "to apologize to the millions of young people who looked up to you," Vick admitted that he used poor judgment and said he was prepared to make amends.
"I would like to apologize to the court, to my family, to my kids, for what I have done," he said.
Vick, an Atlanta Falcons quarterback, was pleaded guilty back on August 27 to a one-count indictment alleging an interstate conspiracy to operate a dogfighting venture based in Virginia. The maximum penalty for the offense is five years in prison, but in a guilty plea he made in August, Vick's agreement with prosecutors called for a recommended sentencing guideline of 12-18 months in prison.
Vick was initially scheduled to be sentenced on December 10, but worked out a deal and voluntarily surrendered to U.S. marshals on November 19 to enter custody prior to his sentencing hearing.
Federal rules governing time off for good behavior could reduce Vick's prison stay by about three months, resulting in a summer 2009 release.