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Mr. Vick is innocent until proven guilty
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In the United States judicial system, any person accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty by his or her peers in a court of law.

So why has the general public, including those in the media, proven Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick to be guilty before he has even had a trial?

Vick is accused of participating in a vicious dog-fighting ring in his home state of Virginia. The accusation against Vick continues to make national headlines. He has lost major endorsements, the latest being Air Tran Airway, which was a partnership that began in 2004. Vick, who was drafted in the first round by the Falcons in 2001, has been very low- keyed and tight lipped during his voluntary workout in Flowery Branch at the Atlanta Falcon complex for much of the off-season.

The Sumner County (Va.) Sheriff Office and the Sumner County District Attorney's Office have yet to file charges against Vick.

However, everyone who knows or has associated themselves with Vick continues to come out of the wood-work, speaking to ESPN, The American Humane Society, major network news or whoever else has an ear to lend. The majority of them claim that Vick is the ringleader of these dog-fighting tournaments at his former home, which has been sold prior to these accusations against him being made public.

I don't know Michael Vick. I have never met him in my entire life. I know that Vick has had a history of controversy follow him throughout his college and professional career. But he is a citizen of the United States and he is entitled to due process of law.

If Mr. Vick should be charged for the crimes that he is accused of, then he should suffer the consequences for his role according to the law. I understand that we in the media have a job and a responsibility to the people to report the news with integrity and truth, but I am ashamed at how the media has handled this story, which is solely based on heresy, rumors and speculation.

I believe it will be a lot more interesting if we actually wait to see if the accusations against Vick is fact and that Sumner County, Va. is ready to indict Mr. Vick and have him face a court of law.

Remember Richard Jewel in 1996? Mr. Jewel was accused of being the bomber during the Centennial Olympic Park bombing. Every news network and media circulation in the country made him the suspect before Jewel was charged with the crime. When the truth came to light and Mr. Jewel was cleared of all charges, it made the media look very incompetent and untrustworthy.

Michael Vick, whether you like him or not, deserves due process for what he is accused of. It is our responsibility as journalists to report the facts...not heresy.

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