Vick: Sociopath or sincere? Jury's still out

Michael Vick's pit bulls are rehabilitating nicely out in rural Utah. Now the question is, can Vick do the same?

Another is, should we even expect him to?

The disgraced former NFL star is back home in Hampton after serving nearly all his 23-month federal sentence for fighting and killing pit bulls.

As of Thursday, he's counting down the final two months under house arrest in a mansion, punching in every day for $10-an-hour busy work while maneuvering like the devil to get back in the game.

His debt to society nearly paid.

Come July 20, sentence served, let's mark it paid in full and let the man be.

This isn't compassion talking, but reality. And profound disappointment.

For a long while, I held out hope. For an honest jailhouse epiphany. For a good newz tale of a guy who without remorse drowns, hangs and beats his own fighting dogs to death if they under-perform, but who miraculously transforms into a genuine humanitarian.

Who then speaks out against animal abuse, mentors at-risk kids growing up in the same street culture that led him astray, bankrolls a no-kill shelter for rescued pit bulls.

Pipe dreams, all.

And, to be honest, a little selfish.

We have no right to demand more of Vick than the law does.

Apparently Vick requires no more of himself, either.

Sure, he sat down with the head of the Humane Society of the United States last weekend to discuss a possible role in the group's urban youth programs against dogfighting. It was a publicist's wet dream. But was it real?

"I sat with the man, but I still don't know his heart," society president Wayne Pacelle blogged Thursday. "He told me he did terrible things to dogs. He said he grew up with dogfighting as a boy, and that he never sufficiently questioned it as he grew into manhood.

"He said this experience has been a trauma and he's changed forever. And he said he wants to show the American public that he is committed to helping combat this problem. He asked for an opportunity to help. I want to give him that opportunity."

See, it's the "terrible things" part some people can't get over.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, for instance, considers Vick's terrible things — and the trail of lies afterward — typical of a sociopath.

In fact, they had psychiatrists examine Vick's case, including an investigative report last August from the USDA's Office of the Inspector General.

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