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Friday, December 09, 2011

NY Times: Prosecutors Seek 15 Months in Barry Bonds Case

In court documents filed late Thursday, prosecutors objected to a recommendation by a federal probation officer that Bonds get only probation when he’s sentenced for obstruction of justice on Dec. 16.

In the documents, prosecutors asked that Bonds be sentenced to 15 months in prison. ...

Federal sentencing guidelines for conviction on the obstruction charge recommend a prison sentence between 15 and 21 months. But Bonds’ lawyers have cited an investigative report prepared by a federal probation officer for the judge that recommended a sentence of probation.

Defense lawyers said in a previous motion they disagreed, however, with the probation report’s recommendation that Bonds spend an unspecified time under “location monitoring,” a form of house arrest.

bobm Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:58 AM | 84 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants, steroids

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   1. Bob Tufts Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:07 PM (#4011385)
Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer's minions will make the decision on how to punish someone for lying to the feds?

I feel safer already. Too bad Bonds wasn't running guns or he'd be free today!
   2. ray james Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:21 PM (#4011403)
Bob, did you see this part:

Federal sentencing guidelines for conviction on the obstruction charge recommend a prison sentence between 15 and 21 months.


So, DoJ is giving Bonds the lowest recommended sentence and you think they're being unfair to him?
   3. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#4011419)
I don't know whether it'd even be allowed, but a wise judge would simply sentence Bonds to probation. Regardless of what we may think about either Bonds or steroids, this is a case that should have been aborted long before it ever came to trial.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:40 PM (#4011428)
I feel safer already. Too bad Bonds wasn't running guns or he'd be free today!

Free? Hell, he'd have a management position in the ATF.

Is the ATF the most useless and corrupt Federal Agency, or am I forgetting someone?
   5. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:40 PM (#4011429)
So, DoJ is giving Bonds the lowest recommended sentence and you think they're being unfair to him?


Considering the obstruction was rambling for a few minutes before giving an honest answer, yes.
   6. dlf Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:41 PM (#4011431)
So, DoJ is giving Bonds the lowest recommended sentence and you think they're being unfair to him?


Yes**

The lawyers said the probation officer recommended probation because other sports figures convicted of similar charges stemming from the same sports doping investigation avoided prison.

Juries convicted cyclist Tammy Thomas of perjury for testifying she never used steroids and former track coach Trevor Graham for lying to investigators about his involvement with a steroids dealer. Both were sentenced to periods of house arrest, which is considered a form of probation.

Former professional football player Dana Stubblefield pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and was sentenced to probation.



Heck, 15 months is almost 3x longer than Victor Conte, the developer and distributor of these "undetectable steroids," received.

**The DOJ isn't "giving" Bonds anything. They are asking the Judge to sentence him to a prison term
   7. Bob Tufts Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#4011438)
Is the ATF the most useless and corrupt Federal Agency, or am I forgetting someone?


Snapper, I asked Rick Perry for his opinion and he's still stuck in a loop after naming two.
   8. Gotham Dave Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#4011439)
No way Bonds is going to prison; the appeals process won't run into multiple idiotic, recent-precedent-ignoring judges. ...Probably.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:51 PM (#4011442)
Snapper, I asked Rick Perry for his opinion and he's still stuck in a loop after naming two.

Rick Perry makes George W Bush sound like Winston F****** Churchill, and that takes some doing.
   10. The District Attorney Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:52 PM (#4011445)
Is the ATF the most useless and corrupt Federal Agency, or am I forgetting someone?
Let's see... I can't. Sorry. Oops.

EDIT: GODDAMNIT.
   11. just plain joe Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:57 PM (#4011453)
Is the ATF the most useless and corrupt Federal Agency, or am I forgetting someone?


The TSA says hi.
   12. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:02 PM (#4011459)
In their motion, Bonds' lawyers said the probation department cited Bonds' "significant history of charitable, civic and prior good works" as a major reason for leniency. The probation officer also noted that Bonds' conviction appears "to be an aberration when taken in context of his entire life," according to the lawyers.

This is the guy who called up his mistress and threatened to cut her head off and leave her in a ditch. Yeah, he's a real f*cking prince of a man.
   13. Randy Jones Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:05 PM (#4011463)
Is the ATF the most useless and corrupt Federal Agency, or am I forgetting someone?


Homeland Security is infinitely worse. Also, the ATF is no worse and possibly better than the DEA, FBI, or CIA.
   14. Bob Tufts Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:11 PM (#4011475)
This is the guy who called up his mistress and threatened to cut her head off and leave her in a ditch. Yeah, he's a real f*cking prince of a man.


And fair equal application of the law protects even those of whom among us are a##holes.

Why should Bonds and Clemens be facing jail time for perjury when Rangel, Holder, Breuer and a parade of members of the ruling class get a free pass for lying to Congress? They risked the lives of Americans at the border (say "won't somebody please think of the children" in both English and Spanish) and also used our tax dollars fraudulently.
   15. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:11 PM (#4011476)
It shouldn't be a crime to talk like Casey Stengel.
   16. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:19 PM (#4011499)
Is the ATF the most useless and corrupt Federal Agency, or am I forgetting someone?


not an "agency," but yes, Congress.
   17. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:29 PM (#4011512)
And fair and equal application of the law protects even those of whom among us are a##holes.

I agree, and fair and equal application of the law calls for a recommended sentence of 15 to 21 months for the felony of obstruction of justice. And I understand that it's the job of his attorneys to fight on his behalf, but I don't know what the hell this alleged probation officer is supposedly talking about. The idea that Bonds deserves leniency because of his high moral character doesn't pass the laugh test for a second. He's a scumbag, and it's been common knowledge for over twenty years that he's a scumbag.

The fact that members of the ruling class often get away with much worse is true, but not relevant. You don't justify bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:35 PM (#4011518)
Why should Bonds and Clemens be facing jail time for perjury when Rangel, Holder, Breuer and a parade of members of the ruling class get a free pass for lying to Congress? They risked the lives of Americans at the border (say "won't somebody please think of the children" in both English and Spanish) and also used our tax dollars fraudulently.

Gentlemen, gentlemen, don't argue. There's room in jail for all of them.
   19. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:39 PM (#4011528)
Why should Bonds and Clemens be facing jail time for perjury when Rangel, Holder, Breuer and a parade of members of the ruling class get a free pass for lying to Congress?

I'm still fuming about that speeding ticket I got when all those other drivers were going even faster! The hypocrisy!

Not that Bonds should be doing time, but these irrelevant comparisons don't do much to advance the case.
   20. ray james Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:43 PM (#4011533)
If he gets 15 months, he'll be out in less than a year. That seems fair. A few months on ice might prompt him to have a revelation or two.
   21. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#4011534)
I'm still fuming about that speeding ticket I got when all those other drivers were going even faster!


Lots faster. Hell, I yelled, "Get a horse!" when I passed you.
   22. Bob Tufts Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#4011546)
Not that Bonds should be doing time, but these irrelevant comparisons don't do much to advance the case.


Messers Holder, Breuer and Rangel (the people that write and enforce the laws) have been allowed to shall we say "revise and extend" their remarks due to some perverse courtesy, while Bonds (who eventually answered the question) is going to jail.

And if the question asked and answered and judge's instructions in the Bonds case were a speeding ticket, I'm certain all of you would have fought it.

Odds on Bonds converting to Islam in jail?
   23. ray james Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#4011548)
Were messrs Holder, Breuer and Rangel given immunity if they made any self-incriminatory statements too?
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:54 PM (#4011556)
Messers Holder, Breuer and Rangel (the people that write and enforce the laws) have been allowed to shall we say "revise and extend" their remarks due to some perverse courtesy

Yeah, they work for the President.
   25. Bob Tufts Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:58 PM (#4011565)
Is it time for a Barry Bonds book upon release from jail? "My Life Behind Bars" and "My Prison Without Bars" are taken, so what would the title be?
   26. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:00 PM (#4011572)
I don't know whether it'd even be allowed, but a wise judge would simply sentence Bonds to probation. Regardless of what we may think about either Bonds or steroids, this is a case that should have been aborted long before it ever came to trial.


Andy, it's people like you and Joey B. (and Mike Lupica and Murray Chass and...) who whipped up the frenzy about steroids to begin with. So you expressing dismay over the fact that a small issue like steroids use turned into a $50 million criminal investigation and trial is pretty weak. I hope you realize that.

At least Joey isn't pretending that this wasn't the natural outcome of the hysteria.
   27. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:08 PM (#4011589)
Bonds better consider himself lucky that those guidelines ain't mandatory anymore.
   28. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:17 PM (#4011602)
Andy, it's people like you and Joey B. (and Mike Lupica and Murray Chass and...) who whipped up the frenzy about steroids to begin with. So you expressing dismay over the fact that a small issue like steroids use turned into a $50 million criminal investigation and trial is pretty weak. I hope you realize that.

Ray, the only "frenzy" I ever "whipped up" was to say that random testing should have been agreed to by the players' union, and that juicers should be blackballed from the HoF. I've never accused a single player of steroid use who wasn't either tested positive or credibly named, and you know that.

I agreed with the first set of hearings when I thought that baseball was dragging its feet on the matter, but at no time have I ever thought that a ballplayer's personal drug use should ever be part of the government's criminal concern.

I realize that all you really want to do here is to drag up your old "hypocrisy" charges about steroids vs. amphetamines, blah blah blah blah blah, and start that debate all over again, but some of us realize that criminal trials and Hall of Fame votes are two entirely separate matters of concern. And some of us realize that on this issue there's a lot of territory between you and Murray Chass.
   29. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:21 PM (#4011605)
Yeah, it's my fault that your hero is now a convicted felon and facing potential prison time. Grow up, dude.
   30. Bob Tufts Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:24 PM (#4011610)
it's my fault that your hero is now a convicted felon


I sense a new Nike "I am not a role model" campaign......
   31. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:25 PM (#4011611)
Not that Bonds should be doing time, but these irrelevant comparisons don't do much to advance the case.

Messers Holder, Breuer and Rangel (the people that write and enforce the laws) have been allowed to shall we say "revise and extend" their remarks due to some perverse courtesy, while Bonds (who eventually answered the question) is going to jail.


Yeah, that's what congressmen do, and in general ignoring the law is what powerful people in all walks of life from finance to movie stars often get away with. Bonds just happens to be among those that didn't get away with it, and while we can (and should) decry his fate on many grounds, he's hardly the only example of this sort of unequal justice that springs to mind. Which is why I say that the "hypocrisy" charge, while true, isn't one that's likely to stick.
   32. Diamond Research Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:32 PM (#4011621)
I am detecting a bit of cynicism in this thread.
   33. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:42 PM (#4011635)
Ray, the only "frenzy" I ever "whipped up" was to say that random testing should have been agreed to by the players' union, and that juicers should be blackballed from the HoF. I've never accused a single player of steroid use who wasn't either tested positive or credibly named, and you know that.

I agreed with the first set of hearings when I thought that baseball was dragging its feet on the matter, but at no time have I ever thought that a ballplayer's personal drug use should ever be part of the government's criminal concern.


You can't separate these things out. Once you support HOF blackballing and Congressional hearings (for the love of god) into the matter, you have contributed to whipping up the frenzy.

What did you think would happen in the criminal arena once Congressional hearings were held (thereby "validating" the criminal inquiries) and once and people were put under oath?

As I said, at least Joey isn't pretending that $50 million investigations and trials weren't the natural outcome of the hysteria.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:53 PM (#4011649)
What did you think would happen in the criminal arena once Congressional hearings were held (thereby "validating" the criminal inquiries) and once and people were put under oath?

You know, Bonds could have told the truth under oath.
   35. Ron J Posted: December 09, 2011 at 07:03 PM (#4011660)
#34 You are aware that he wasn't convicted of perjury right? Yeah I know. Compromise verdict and they probably would have voted to convict on at least one count if they hadn't had the option of convicting for obstruction.
   36. toratoratora Posted: December 09, 2011 at 07:08 PM (#4011667)
You know, Bonds could have told the truth under oath.


According to the trial, he did, but his crime was that he was "evasive" about it...which is kind of ironic, because, IIRC, he did answer the question, just a few minutes down the road.

WTH?
Bonds is appealing this travesty, I hope...
   37. Lassus Posted: December 09, 2011 at 07:13 PM (#4011673)
I agree, and fair and equal application of the law calls for a recommended sentence of 15 to 21 months for the felony of obstruction of justice. And I understand that it's the job of his attorneys to fight on his behalf, but I don't know what the hell this alleged probation officer is supposedly talking about. The idea that Bonds deserves leniency because of his high moral character doesn't pass the laugh test for a second. He's a scumbag, and it's been common knowledge for over twenty years that he's a scumbag.

I would say a smell test would be applied regarding charitable, foundation, and community work, none of which you seem to be smelling. I don't know what type of that stuff is on his record, but if it is, your smell test is invalid. And yes, he is still probably an ass hole.
   38. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 07:16 PM (#4011675)
You know, Bonds could have told the truth under oath.


Aside from what Ron noted in #35, if you have good evidence that Bonds perjured himself, fine, prosecute him. But to spend $50 million investigating that? W.T.F.
   39. Krusty Posted: December 09, 2011 at 07:34 PM (#4011706)
Gentlemen, gentlemen, don't argue. There's room in jail for all of them.


No, there isn't. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_v._Plata

(Just trying to draw attention to the cruel and unusual nature of the U.S. prison system.)
   40. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 09, 2011 at 07:41 PM (#4011716)
Ray, the only "frenzy" I ever "whipped up" was to say that random testing should have been agreed to by the players' union, and that juicers should be blackballed from the HoF. I've never accused a single player of steroid use who wasn't either tested positive or credibly named, and you know that.

I agreed with the first set of hearings when I thought that baseball was dragging its feet on the matter, but at no time have I ever thought that a ballplayer's personal drug use should ever be part of the government's criminal concern.


You can't separate these things out. Once you support HOF blackballing and Congressional hearings (for the love of god) into the matter, you have contributed to whipping up the frenzy.


As usual, you love to set up a scenario where the only alternatives are your way or the highway, where it's impossible to want known steroid users kept out the Hall of Fame without the eventual spectacle of Barry Bonds behind bars. I could just as absurdly claim that anyone who doesn't favor a HoF blackball is in favor of steroids. In your case, I might be correct in saying that, but there are plenty of others who want steroids out of the game but don't think that a HoF blackball for pre-testing era violators is the proper way to make a statement about that---a wholly legitimate form of disagreement.

What did you think would happen in the criminal arena once Congressional hearings were held (thereby "validating" the criminal inquiries) and once and people were put under oath?

As if every day we don't see prosecutors choose to prosecute some potential cases and not others.

At bottom your position on this is no different from your position on every other subject: You can't bear to have the slightest form of disagreement with your chosen position, unless it comes in the form of an opposition so extreme that it becomes easy to caricature and discredit. You simply can't acknowledge the concept of "agreeing to disagree", because like all ideologues, you demand absolute agreement or a cartoon opposition. I'm sorry I can't accommodate you.
   41. Brian Posted: December 09, 2011 at 07:44 PM (#4011719)
He's a scumbag, and it's been common knowledge for over twenty years that he's a scumbag.


Joey, in the criminal justice world Bonds is not a scumbag. Scumbags actually do kill people, beat women, deal drugs and otherwise exhibit behavior that is frowned on by civilized society. Bonds has been an a$$hole, they are definitely not equivalent.
   42. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 09, 2011 at 07:56 PM (#4011736)
Joey, in the criminal justice world Bonds is not a scumbag. Scumbags actually do kill people, beat women, deal drugs and otherwise exhibit behavior that is frowned on by civilized society. Bonds has been an a$$hole, they are definitely not equivalent.


well there is a continuum from ####### to scumbag...

I agree, and fair and equal application of the law calls for a recommended sentence of 15 to 21 months for the felony of obstruction of justice.

EQUAL application of the law would seem to call for something between 0 and 5 months...

"fair," ignoring judge not lest though be judged and all that, it wouldn't bother me is Bonds actually does some time... it also wouldn't bother me if the guys who blew several million dollars pursuing this end up working at a collection mill or legal aid society making the lawyer equivalent of minimum wage...
   43. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 09, 2011 at 07:58 PM (#4011742)
If scumbagginess was punishable by 15 months in federal prison, a bunch of us could continue this discussion there.
   44. Morty Causa Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#4011748)
At ease, men. Prosecutors request a higher penalty than they can expect to get, hoping to get more than they would if they were fair and reasonable, just as they overcharge. Nothing here to see, move along.

Moreover, juries don't need much of a justification to convict--just a we thought he was lying from the way he looked when he answered the questions is usually plenty sufficient. That's why juries are deferred to--they are there. Algonquin P. Catsmeat DiPerna was not.

And if part of your dream utopia is that prosecutors, judges, juries (legal systems in general and in particular) be uniformly consistent at every level and jurisdiction in every case that falls under the similar designation rubric--well, good luck and may God bless you.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#4011751)
#34 You are aware that he wasn't convicted of perjury right? Yeah I know. Compromise verdict and they probably would have voted to convict on at least one count if they hadn't had the option of convicting for obstruction.

Sure. But this whole thing goes away if Bonds does what Giambi and a bunch of others did.

I'm not saying that Bonds belongs in jail, or that the investigation wasn't a wasteful travesty, but Bonds brought this on himself. You try to BS a grand jury, when they have nothing they can actually convict you on, and you pretty mush deserve what you get.
   46. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#4011756)
You know, Bonds could have told the truth under oath.

According to the trial, he did


No, according to ONE juror there wasn't proof he'd lied- he wasn't acquitted- it was a hung jury- and even if he had been acquitted "not guilty" does not necessarily mean "innocent."

This being the court of public opinion I'm quite content to agree with those who believe Bonds lied under oath.

Now of course that wasn't what he was convicted of, what he was convicted of was a bizarre amalgam of the type that can only result from a committee (and what is jury but a committee?)

So in any event, he *could* have told the truth (which is apparently what Giambi did, spilling his guts like a squealing pig) he could have told enough of the truth (like most of the Balco witnesses apparently did) so that you knew what was A and what was B, but no, Bonds got up there and either didn't answer, answered questions not asked, and/or simply lied at times.

I think the blackballing of players for acts that were not against the rules at the time is BS, I think the distinction some try to draw between the PEDs used now versus those used earlier is BS, I think the testing and penalties against PED users and the whole WDA regime is ill-advised and bad policy - I also think Marijuana should be legal (Actually I think some but not all drugs that are currently illegal should be legal).

I also think that when you are sworn in by the judicial system and under oath you should tell the truth.
   47. Morty Causa Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#4011762)
I feel safer already. Too bad Bonds wasn't running guns or he'd be free today!

Free? Hell, he'd have a management position in the ATF.


Or eligible for a big tax deduction if he were a big bidness man.

Or at least a bishop, if not a cardinal, if he were in the church, with access to Penn State's shower facilities. (Yeah, see how unfair that can become when everyone gets dragged down to that level.)
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:23 PM (#4011776)
Or at least a bishop, if not a cardinal, if he were in the church, with access to Penn State's shower facilities. (Yeah, see how unfair that can become when everyone gets dragged down to that level.)

Jeeze, you could at least be timely and go with the college coaches.
   49. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#4011784)
Bonds is appealing this travesty, I hope...


Of course he is. But, at this point, he can't do so until the proceedings in the trial court are final.
   50. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:31 PM (#4011788)
It's hard to get worked up over this. The sentencing judge, who was on the brink of throwing the entire case out when the wrong tape was played, has already indicated that she is disinclined to impose as large a sentence on Bonds as was given to previous convicted figures in the BALCO scandal. People in Bonds' spot have have already received probation and/or home detention.

The chatter may be even more moot than that. No sentence will be served until after the appeal. And Bonds' one conviction stands an actual chance of being overturned on one of two points: if a future court is unimpressed with Bonds' meandering statement qualifying as evasion, and whether the prosecutors' failure to specifically cite the statement in the indictment papers means Bonds' lawyers never received the legally required notice. The second point seems more telling; perhaps our resident lawyers can speculate further. Either way, it's likely that some people's cherished mental image of Barry Bonds breaking rocks in the hot sun while wearing striped pajamas will remain just that.
   51. Morty Causa Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:37 PM (#4011795)
Jeeze, you could at least be timely and go with the college coaches.


No, I couldn't. I wanted to make sure it didn't sneak past your eyes and over your head into the asteroid belt.
   52. Downtown Bookie Posted: December 09, 2011 at 09:02 PM (#4011814)
Homeland Security is infinitely worse. Also, the ATF is no worse and possibly better than the DEA, FBI, or CIA.


The CIA will remember you said that.

DB
   53. Downtown Bookie Posted: December 09, 2011 at 09:15 PM (#4011826)
I think the important thing to note here is that the persecution of the Bonds affair has continued seamlessly from one administration to the next. It has not mattered whether the DOJ has been headed by a Republican or Democrat, as apparently both political parties have recognized the necessity of pursuing this individual for the good of the country, until he at last finds himself behind bars.

Considering how much we hear and read about the constant gridlock in the nation's capitol, I think it should warm the hearts of many to see that when it comes to screwing Barry Bonds, the spirit of bipartisanship is alive and well.

DB
   54. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 09, 2011 at 11:41 PM (#4012016)
Considering how much we hear and read about the constant gridlock in the nation's capitol, I think it should warm the hearts of many to see that when it comes to screwing Barry Bonds, the spirit of bipartisanship is alive and well

Or the bipartisan spirit of political expediency.

Being seen as "soft" on Barry Bonds** doesn't have much more of a political future than being seen as soft on child molesters. I'd personally drop the case, but in truth, from a political POV what would be the upside? A 90-10 margin in San Francisco in 2012 instead of 85-15?

**scatological replies anticipated and preemptively laughed at
   55. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 10, 2011 at 12:06 AM (#4012029)
You can't separate these things out. Once you support HOF blackballing and Congressional hearings (for the love of god) into the matter, you have contributed to whipping up the frenzy.


As usual, you love to set up a scenario where the only alternatives are your way or the highway, where it's impossible to want known steroid users kept out the Hall of Fame without the eventual spectacle of Barry Bonds behind bars.


So Congressional hearings are legitimate if they help us decide who should be in the Hall of Fame?

You supported the initial Congressional hearings. That means you favored putting people under oath in front of Congress to discuss this. Which is what led to Palmeiro being investigated for perjury, and is what led to the Congressional hearing that had the specific purpose of laying a perjury trap for Clemens, which is what led to Clemens's indictment.

Once you support a crusade, Andy, you can't act all shocked and innocent when the crusade leads to places you personally wouldn't have allowed it to go.

The Murray Chasses of the world write for you, because you lend them your ear.

As if every day we don't see prosecutors choose to prosecute some potential cases and not others.


It was a $50 million investigation, Andy. For a nothing issue.

At bottom your position on this is no different from your position on every other subject: You can't bear to have the slightest form of disagreement with your chosen position, unless it comes in the form of an opposition so extreme that it becomes easy to caricature and discredit. You simply can't acknowledge the concept of "agreeing to disagree", because like all ideologues, you demand absolute agreement or a cartoon opposition. I'm sorry I can't accommodate you.


I don't know what "agree to disagree" even means, or accomplishes. Is the purpose of it so that we can pretend that a farcical position such as yours on this topic is legitimate? If we have disagreement, we know it, and everyone can see it. There is nothing to "agree" about. Agree that we disagree? What is that, like agreeing that Abe Lincoln was once president?
   56. Something Other Posted: December 10, 2011 at 09:44 AM (#4012374)
I also think that when you are sworn in by the judicial system and under oath you should tell the truth.
Hey! People can get in real trouble that way!

Anyone care to guess what the monthly tab runs when you're defending yourself against this kind of prosecution?

edit: speaking of Brown v. Plata, is it possible Scalia will EVER find himself on the correct side of a case? You'd think, blind squirrel, nut, at some point, right?
   57. Greg K Posted: December 10, 2011 at 01:13 PM (#4012390)
At ease, men. Prosecutors request a higher penalty than they can expect to get, hoping to get more than they would if they were fair and reasonable, just as they overcharge. Nothing here to see, move along.

I don't know, I call bullshit on that! That's like saying Scott Boras' public asking prices are merely openings to negotatiations from which he eventually comes down a bit.
   58. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 10, 2011 at 01:17 PM (#4012391)
You supported the initial Congressional hearings. That means you favored putting people under oath in front of Congress to discuss this. Which is what led to Palmeiro being investigated for perjury, and is what led to the Congressional hearing that had the specific purpose of laying a perjury trap for Clemens, which is what led to Clemens's indictment.

Once you support a crusade, Andy, you can't act all shocked and innocent when the crusade leads to places you personally wouldn't have allowed it to go.


Well, I also voted for Obama. By your impeccable logic, I suppose that means that my vote "led to" every decision he's made, whether I agree with it or not.

Seriously, Ray, do you even pretend to believe all your sophistry and bullshit?

The Murray Chasses of the world write for you, because you lend them your ear.

Right, Ray, as if you're not the one who spends several hours arguing with Chass every time Repoz posts one of his columns, and as if you're not the one who then gets all huffy when I mock people for paying any attention to it. But then I'm sure that nobody here would have realized by now that Jack Morris shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame if you hadn't been on your toes, vigilantly refuting Chass at every opportunity. What would the Hall of Fame do without guardians like you?

I don't know what "agree to disagree" even means, or accomplishes. Is the purpose of it so that we can pretend that a farcical position such as yours on this topic is legitimate? If we have disagreement, we know it, and everyone can see it. There is nothing to "agree" about. Agree that we disagree? What is that, like agreeing that Abe Lincoln was once president?

Well, on the topic that is the subject of this news article, we agree 100% that there never should have been a prosecution in the first place, a POV I reiterated for the umpteenth time right at the beginning of this thread (#3). This isn't about the Hall of Fame, and it isn't about Murray Chass or Mike Lupica or Joey B, none of whom I've ever paid the slightest bit of attention to in forming my opinions about anything. It's about prosecutorial discretion, a concept you've apparently never heard of.
   59. Greg K Posted: December 10, 2011 at 01:25 PM (#4012393)
I don't know what "agree to disagree" even means, or accomplishes. Is the purpose of it so that we can pretend that a farcical position such as yours on this topic is legitimate? If we have disagreement, we know it, and everyone can see it. There is nothing to "agree" about. Agree that we disagree? What is that, like agreeing that Abe Lincoln was once president?

Not to step into this whole, long-running discussion you two have, but in a general sense I think a better analogy would be you are disagreeing about the "fact" that Lincoln attempted to redefine the values of America as morally set out in the republicanism of the Declaration of Independence rather than the legalism of the Constitution.* Neither side of that argument is a "factual" one. You might not be convinced by the argument, or have a degree of scepticism, but "truth" in a discussion like that is never an absolute. For the record I'd incline to your position in this thread. I think the hearings before congress were a mistake from the get-go, and it certainly influenced subsequent events. But the position that it made the Bonds case inevitable isn't a "fact" in the sense that Lincoln was president of the United States is.

*Note - I know next to nothing about American history, so the details of this example may not be relevant either, but I'm hoping the point is clear anyway.
   60. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 10, 2011 at 02:00 PM (#4012405)
Greg, Ray's position is that anyone who favors any sort of "penalty" against Barry Bonds for his use of steroids is therefore "guilty" of whatever consequences may befall him. If you don't want him in the Hall of Fame, it's "hypocritical" of you to say you don't want him in jail, and if you don't want him in jail (or even prosecuted), you can't possibly be an honest person and still want him kept out of the Hall. It's the usual "Are you for us or against us?" sort of rhetorical BS that's routinely practiced by politicians during wartime.

He also thinks that it's "illogical" and "hypocritical" to want to keep steroid users out of the Hall of Fame unless you also agree to keep out amphetamine users, and he refuses to acknowledge that any view contrary to that is legitimate. To Ray the only possible motivation for such an "inconsistent" stance would be to protect one's "boyhood heroes", a view he repeats every time it comes up on his teleprompter. It's one of the most perfect examples of a completely closed belief system you'll ever see, but he obviously thinks that by repeating it over and over he's going to be able to do a "WOO-HOO!" dance once everyone gets tired and just wants to forget the whole thing.
   61. Greg K Posted: December 10, 2011 at 02:27 PM (#4012409)
My boyhood hero was Craig Biggio. So I guess I'm just lucky* I don't need to viciously attack anyone to get him into Cooperstown...yet.

*I'm also lucky that I switched allegiances from my previous boyhood hero Jeff Pico. I have no idea why I had him selected. He was a pretty unimpressive pitcher on a team that wasn't even in the same league as the one I support. I guess I just liked his baseball card. I have the feeling I'd need to engage in a Stalin-level of evil to get him into the Hall.
   62. Morty Causa Posted: December 10, 2011 at 02:43 PM (#4012415)
I don't know, I call ######## on that! That's like saying Scott Boras' public asking prices are merely openings to negotatiations from which he eventually comes down a bit.


You're privy to Boras's negotiating strategy and tactics?
   63. Greg K Posted: December 10, 2011 at 02:52 PM (#4012419)
You're privy to Boras's negotiating strategy and tactics?

I was aiming for sarcasm.

Though I can hardly blame you. I've yet to learn how to incorporate humour into my sarcasm.
   64. Ron J Posted: December 10, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#4012420)
I also think that when you are sworn in by the judicial system and under oath you should tell the truth.


Even here though the issue is that the jurors didn't like the way he answered the questions. He rambled -- and not all that long -- and then answered the questions.

The practical upshot is that they've criminalized a reaction to stress. (I know there are a bunch of trial lawyers here. I'm sure they see this every day) Just one additional thing prosecutors can go after you for now.

Of all of the possible outcomes of the trial this is the worst if allowed to stand. A terrible precedent if allowed to stand.

And I expect it to stand. That is I expect Bonds will lose any appeal, meaning that how much he's sentenced to is terribly important.
   65. Morty Causa Posted: December 10, 2011 at 03:11 PM (#4012426)
It was a $50 million investigation, Andy. For a nothing issue.


Oh, I don't know if it's been for nothing. For one thing, I bet a lot of people--mostly worthless celebrities, true, but still--are a lot more careful about what they say to prosecutors and how they say it. Second, things could easily have turned out a whole lot worse for Bonds, beginning with if they could have gotten certain persons to testify.
   66. Morty Causa Posted: December 10, 2011 at 03:16 PM (#4012436)
Even here though the issue is that the jurors didn't like the way he answered the questions. He rambled -- and not all that long -- and then answered the questions.

The practical upshot is that they've criminalized a reaction to stress.


That's not your call (or mine). And we don't know for sure if that's the entire and sole predicate for their verdict.
   67. Ron J Posted: December 10, 2011 at 03:45 PM (#4012452)
Morty, it doesn't matter why this particular jury came to the conclusion they did (though in fact we do know -- some of the jurors have given interviews). The fact of the matter is that the precedent is on the books. And is likely to stay there, given that I don't expect Bonds to win any appeal.
   68. Morty Causa Posted: December 10, 2011 at 04:08 PM (#4012469)
We most certainly do NOT know. Not for sure. A few jurors giving cursory explanation for their decision is hardly anything, especially considering the after the fact whitewash factor--the tendency to justify. They are entitle to draw conclusions from his performance.

Too, that verdict doesn't change anything when it comes to setting precedent. If this case were retried exactly the same way with a different jury (or, hell, the same jury), they could find him not guilty on that one thing on the exact same (putative) basis and be just as justified in doing so. As long as the fact underlying their assessment doesn't change, the juror's prerogative remains. Now, if in fact, he hadn't testified, or testified in a way that supports that decision, that would be different. Individual jurors incomplete explanations for their decision does not establish precedent. Indeed, the juror, the one in this case or a theoretical new one, could have found him guilty on same other of the charges and that would very likely pass muster, too. And, indeed, that was almost the case, wasn't it?
   69. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 10, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#4012497)
Morty, it doesn't matter why this particular jury came to the conclusion they did (though in fact we do know -- some of the jurors have given interviews). The fact of the matter is that the precedent is on the books. And is likely to stay there, given that I don't expect Bonds to win any appeal.

Juries can't set precedents; they are finders of fact, not law. No jury is bound by what another jury found as to facts.

Only a judge or panel of judges, ruling on a point of law can set a precedent. Moreover, a single trial court ruling is not precedent setting for other judges. Only a higher court confirming a ruling of law can set precedent for other courts in that jurisdiction.

Precedents are also not binding outside of their specific jurisdiction. The finding of the highest CA court is not precedent outside of CA. The findings of the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is not binding precedent outside of its jurisdiction.
   70. base ball chick Posted: December 10, 2011 at 05:23 PM (#4012511)
Bob Tufts Posted: December 09, 2011 at 12:11 PM (#4011475)

This is the guy who called up his mistress and threatened to cut her head off and leave her in a ditch. Yeah, he's a real f*cking prince of a man.


And fair equal application of the law protects even those of whom among us are a##holes.

Why should Bonds and Clemens be facing jail time for perjury when Rangel, Holder, Breuer and a parade of members of the ruling class get a free pass for lying to Congress? They risked the lives of Americans at the border (say "won't somebody please think of the children" in both English and Spanish) and also used our tax dollars fraudulently.


- because they are politicians, who are morally exemplary-ish. and that makes it OK

barry lamar, on the other hand, broke The Sacred Home Run Record while using legal substances (except for amps, which don't count) and should therefore get a long term in maximum federal pen
   71. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 10, 2011 at 05:30 PM (#4012518)
barry lamar, on the other hand, broke The Sacred Home Run Record while using legal substances

BBC, you should say "substances not banned by baseball". They weren't legal for the purposes he was using them.

Oxycodone is "legal", but not for throwing a party on Saturday night.
   72. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 10, 2011 at 05:45 PM (#4012531)
Lisa, do you honestly believe that either the prosecutors or the jury that convicted Bonds really cared one bit about Roger Maris? Does it have to follow that everyone who supported the prosecution (and you know I didn't) is getting their cues from the biggest yahoos in the media?

And as for politicians always escaping the law, do yourself a favor and google "convicted congressmen" or some such combination of words. And then remember two names: Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
   73. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 10, 2011 at 05:52 PM (#4012535)
And as for politicians always escaping the law,

Aren't 3 Illinois Governors in jail right now?

Edit: Only 2 currently in jail (Ryan and Blagojevich). 4 of the last 9 have served jail time.
   74. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 10, 2011 at 07:07 PM (#4012590)
And as for politicians always escaping the law,

Aren't 3 Illinois Governors in jail right now?

Edit: Only 2 currently in jail (Ryan and Blagojevich). 4 of the last 9 have served jail time.


Wonder what the Final Four would look like? My guess would be Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland and Louisiana.
   75. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 10, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#4012595)
except for amps, which don't count


Didn't Bonds test positive for amps once?

Oxycodone is "legal", but not for throwing a party on Saturday night.


Well this is certainly going to put a crimp in my plans for this evening.
   76. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 10, 2011 at 08:08 PM (#4012641)
Well this is certainly going to put a crimp in my plans for this evening.

Fun fact. Cocaine is the best local anesthetic for ENT surgery (constricts the blood vessels in the nose and sinus passages), and is used as such in hospitals.
   77. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 10, 2011 at 08:31 PM (#4012667)
Edit: Only 2 currently in jail (Ryan and Blagojevich). 4 of the last 9 have served jail time.


To pick a nit, technically, Blago is not in jail at this moment. He is scheduled to report to prison to begin his 14-year sentence some time in February.
   78. Ron J Posted: December 10, 2011 at 08:33 PM (#4012668)
#71 Because of the way the law was drafted, it's exceedingly likely that the clear was not illegal. As I've said before, I doubt it was the intention of the drafters of the law to make designer drugs legal, but that's pretty much what they did. Probably. Never tested in court either way.

That does leave the cream. Again, under the law at the time you'd have had to demonstrate that it was performance enhancing. I'm not aware of any evidence that it is.

Yes, there are reports that Bonds was using run of the mill steroids before starting with the cream and the clear. No evidence of this though.
   79. Srul Itza Posted: December 10, 2011 at 08:42 PM (#4012673)
I doubt it was the intention of the drafters of the law to make designer drugs legal, but that's pretty much what they did.


It's not so much that they made it legal, as that it was hard to make something illegal that did not yet exist, and so could not be specified in the law. There are constitutional requirements regarding criminal law that mandate a certain specificity such that you can know that what you are doing is illegal.

This can create a particular problem if you try to criminalize drugs by their effects, because then you have to prove the effect, which might require human trials, which would be hard to conduct legally or ethically under the law because of the need for informed consent and the lack of expected therapeutic benefit.

Over time, the drug laws have been re-drafted to try to cover these issues as much as possible, by referring to similar "salts" or isotopes, so that minor changes can not be used to evade the law. But if some new class of recreational drug were to come out, it would have to be separately criminalized.
   80. Srul Itza Posted: December 10, 2011 at 08:44 PM (#4012676)
Yes, there are reports that Bonds was using run of the mill steroids before starting with the cream and the clear. No evidence of this though.


No admissible evidence, because Greg Anderson refused to testify about doping calenders, etc.
   81. Ron J Posted: December 10, 2011 at 09:03 PM (#4012685)
#79 Practice makes (closer to) perfect. The current law has what amounts to a preamble. In addition to listing the known compounds, it specifically includes salts etc.

The only potential gotcha I see is that it doesn't have the phrase "includes but is not limited to" before the list of the compounds. I've heard some people argue that still makes anything not included in the list OK, but I wouldn't want to try arguing that proposition in court.
   82. Ron J Posted: December 10, 2011 at 09:40 PM (#4012713)
#80 Old ground, but I'm still genuinely puzzled that this wasn't required as part of the plea deal.

Actually the only semi-plausible explanation I've heard on this is that they thought he'd make a better witness against Bonds if his testimony wasn't a part of a plea deal.
   83. Something Other Posted: December 11, 2011 at 02:28 AM (#4012987)
We most certainly do NOT know. Not for sure. A few jurors giving cursory explanation for their decision is hardly anything, especially considering the after the fact whitewash factor--the tendency to justify. They are entitle to draw conclusions from his performance.
Aren't grand jurors supposed to keep silent about their service?
   84. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 11, 2011 at 04:21 AM (#4013075)
Aren't grand jurors supposed to keep silent about their service?


Well, they were talking about the jurors in Bonds's criminal case.

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