Vick's Defense Team Claiming Double Jeopardy
After Michael Vick was indicted today by a grand jury in Virginia on dogfighting charges, Vick's defense team issued a written statement in which it said it would examine the state charges and "aggressively protect his rights to ensure that he is not held accountable for the same conduct twice."
The Atlanta Falcons quarterback previously pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge related to dogfighting.
William R. (Billy) Martin, Vick's D.C.-based lead attorney, said in the defense team's written statement: "We are disappointed that these charges were filed in Surry County since it is the same conduct covered by the federal indictment for which Mr. Vick has already accepted full responsibility and plead guilty to in U.S. District Court in Richmond."
Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, said it was not clearcut whether the state indictment constituted double jeopardy in violation of Vick's rights.
"There may be some merit to that," Tobias said in a telephone interview. "That is probably the best argument that [Vick's lawyers] can make. But it's not clear to me that this is double jeopardy. What [Surry County, Va., prosecutor Gerald] Poindexter seems to be saying is that he believes he's bringing different charges. Ultimately, it may be up to a judge to decide."
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