I know this as nothing to do with the Mets, but I did not want to let this pass without writing something about it. It shows just how ridiculous our criminal justice system is.
On Tuesday the federal government officially dropped its case against Barry Bonds, which means a 10-year investigation has resulted in absolutely nothing.
And that’s not even the ridiculous part.
Bonds was convicted on one count of obstruction of justice, but an appeals court overturned that. Yesterday the Justice Department decided not to appeal that ruling to the Supreme Court, ending the case.
And it’s a good thing it did, because Barry Bonds was convicted on the stupidest thing I have ever heard (yes, here is the ridiculous part). During his grand jury testimony, Bonds was asked “Did (trainer) Greg (Anderson) ever give you anything that required a syringe to inject yourself with?” Here is Bonds’s answer. and it was this statement for which the jury convicted him:
“That’s what keeps our friendship. I was a celebrity child, not just in baseball by my own instincts. I became a celebrity child with a famous father. I just don’t get into other people’s business because of my father’s situation, you see.”
First of all, huh? Secondly, yes, obviously Bonds was evading the question. But why didn’t the prosecutor follow up with something like, “Mr. Bonds, you did not answer the question. Did he ever give you anything that required a syringe to inject yourself with?” Then if Bonds answered no, go ahead and charge him with perjury or obstruction and get a fair conviction.
In issuing its decision, the appeals court ruled Bonds’s answer was not material to the overall investigation. No kidding.
This was a major prosecution error at the grand jury. And there was more prosecutorial incompetence at the trial, when they decided to pursue this particular charge. My guess is the jury likely knew Bonds took steroids and wanted to convict him on something, so it picked this.
Having said all of this, Barry Bonds absolutely, positively used PEDs. And let’s face it, he got away with it. He walks away from this unpunished. Although his reputation is shot (outside of San Francisco) and he will never get into the Hall of Fame.
That might be punishment enough.