This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," August 20, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: NFL star Michael Vick is going to cut a deal with the prosecutor. At least, that's the plan tonight. Much can change, of course, between now and the scheduled plea, just over six days from right now.
Let's bring our legal panel: In New York, former Westchester County DA Jeanine Pirro. Here in D.C., criminal defense attorneys Ted Williams and Bernie Grimm.
Jeanine, we think the plea is going to go down, but things can happen, can't they.
JEANINE PIRRO, FORMER WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY, DA: Yes, but you know what, Greta? I really believe it will go down because the feds are about to bring out a superseding indictment charging Vick with racketeering and gambling. And if they do that, then this whole personal conduct code that Roger Goodell needs to assess in terms of whether or not he'll play football again really kicks in. So Vick would be very smart to take this plea before the superseding indictment because it leaves an open door for the NFL, you know, to go one way or the other.
VAN SUSTEREN: But here is what I do not get. Everyone keeps talking about this NFL thing, but if you go to prison for five years, when is he going to be playing in the NFL — Bernie?
BERNIE GRIMM, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He came into the league in 2000. He was drafted number one by the Falcons. If I am Michael Vick, I am more concerned about how much time I am going to spend in prison on the H-block team than playing in the NFL.
VAN SUSTEREN: Isn't his career over if he gets five years? I don't know what he is going to get, I have no idea, but…
GRIMM: In five years he would be well into his thirties. That is well past your prime as an NFL quarterback.
I'm concerned about the jail time. I know what Jeanine is saying, under this personal conduct policy, they can look at what happens. They can give him a lifetime ban, a year.
VAN SUSTEREN: And the stat is probably standing by. I would hope that he wrapped up a deal that included — that his lawyers wrapped up a deal that would include the state.
TED WILLIAMS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I would certainly hope so. As it pertains to the state, the state had initially started this investigation, and the fed stepped in. The D.A. down in that area, Gerald Pointdexter, is taking a look at it. It is my understanding that he intends to bring state charges. But they are probably run concurrent with the federal charges.
VAN SUSTEREN: Probably. I do not know what you think — probably, if they're gunning for that much, it is the state of Virginia…
WILLIAMS: It should not be probable, because his lawyers, hopefully, will have made a deal.
VAN SUSTEREN: I would assume it would be wrapped in — Jeanine?
PIRRO: There is no point when the local D.A. going into the grand jury and getting an indictment when they are only going to get concurrent tie. It is ridiculous.
VAN SUSTEREN: What makes you think it will be concurrent?
PIRRO: I do not think it will, but that is what Ken is saying.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK. So you are with me and not with Ken. This is a risk for Mr. Vick.
PIRRO: What are you saying, Greta?
VAN SUSTEREN: I am saying that you agree — I am trying to emphasize the point that Jeanine Pirro agrees with Greta Van Susteren.
PIRRO: Yes, I do on this, absolutely. I do not think the D.A. is going to bother to indict unless he is getting consecutive time.
WILLIAMS: You agree with Greta because you want to be on the show tomorrow, but, let me say this…
PIRRO: That is not true, Greta and I are pals. Check her blog. It's Gretawire.
WILLIAMS: The fact about is if he pleas to the federal offense, he is going before Judge Henry Hudson in Virginia, and Judge Hudson is a dog lover. And he could be looking at some tremendous time.
VAN SUSTEREN: How do you know he is a dog lover?
WILLIAMS: He made it clear on the record.
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me stand up for a Judge Hudson. He is a very straight arrow. I have known him for 100 years.
We also know Billy Martin, the Defense Attorney.
GRIMM: Yes, Billy Martin, I know Ted knows him, I think Greta and I probably tried cases against him not too long ago, a very good lawyer.
But Michael Vick could see it, and Billy could see it. They circled the wagons on him.
VAN SUSTEREN: He had no choice.
He had no choice. When the music stopped, and all of a sudden he went to sit down and there was no chair left.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there anything that can be done for Vick as a defense lawyer to try to rescue him from this?
GRIMM: The only thing I would do is get in there, very quickly, on this plea and get them to promise they will not seek enhancements for cruel and inhumane punishment to those animals.
WILLIAMS: But, you know, Greta, the thing that set this off is his boys. Vick got too close to his boys, and he has blown $130 million contract because of his boys and that association.
I do not think Vick is really a bad guy. It is his association with his boys.
VAN SUSTEREN: If he executed these animals, Ted, I don't know.
PIRRO: What he did was absolutely horrible, and I will say that he is a bad guy, because only a bad guy would do that to innocent animals.
WILLIAMS: Jeanine, we do not really know what he really did. We know that these guys cut a deal, Jeanine.
PIRRO: We know what he will plead guilty to. Come on, Ted.
WILLIAMS: He is going to plead guilty, but, again, they guys could have embellished the truth. I don't know if they did or didn't…
PIRRO: Then if they did, this guy has enough money, Ted, to take this case to trial and never plead guilty and jeopardize his career. That is the end to the story.
VAN SUSTEREN: Let's assume, Ted, the embellished it. It was not eight dogs he executed, it was four.
PIRRO: How about six?
WILLIAMS: If it was even one dog, it was one dog too many.
GRIMM: I hate this barbaric thing where you put dogs in the ring. It is just so evil and Roman.
But the problem I have is the manner of execution. According to the witnesses that are going to testify, tried to hang three of the dogs unsuccessfully, and took them and drowned the dogs afterwards. To me, after that, just send him to jail.
VAN SUSTEREN: Let's assume it is a five year offense. What do you give him?
GRIMM: Five year offense? You have to keep out the fact that this guy is the most fascinating football player you have ever seen.
VAN SUSTEREN: How much are going to give him?
GRIMM: Let me footnote it — he is left-handed, and so am I.
VAN SUSTEREN: How much time?
GRIMM: At least a year.
VAN SUSTEREN: What are you giving him, Jeanine?
PIRRO: I'm giving him at least three years, and I'll tell you why. I'm a tough judge, as Hudson is. And what you have got is you have him on the ropes, and he has nowhere to go — three years.
WILLIAMS: You give them a year.
Look, jail for punishment and rehabilitation. I think that Michael Vick can be rehabilitated. What he did was horrible, I do not make light of it. And if he goes to jail, so be it. But I think he…
VAN SUSTEREN: And, boy, those prisons are known for rehabilitating people, aren't they.
WILLIAMS: No, they are not. That is the unfortunate part.
VAN SUSTEREN: What a tough case.
PIRRO: It sends the message.
GRIMM: When he gets out of prison, I don't want him walking my dogs.
PIRRO: He is high profile, Greta. We have to send a message with this case. He cannot get away with this.
VAN SUSTEREN: I will tell you one thing. He is lucky I am not the judge. I am a big animal lover. I would have to disqualify myself. I don't think that I could — I don't know. Anyway, whatever.
Panel, we will see what happens on Monday when he appears before Judge Hudson.
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