After eight years of investigation and legal wrangling, the government finally got “that f–ker.” A Federal Court convicted Barry Bonds of obstructing justice, though he somehow did this without perjuring himself. A hearing is set about whether to overturn the conviction. He likely will serve no jail time.
Most reasonable people would assume Barry Bonds was at least disingenuous to a grand jury about his steroid use. The salient issue, however, is not whether Bonds committed crime. It’s whether that crime was so serious it warranted tying up federal investigators for the better part of a decade and allocating tens of millions in public funding.
Nearly every charge against Bonds was thrown out. Only a Herculean effort from the government’s legal team earned even one conviction based on the evidence. Had he not been “Barry Bonds” this case likely would never have been investigated initially and never have gone to trial.
Barry Bonds is no mob boss. He’s neither a villian nor a violent criminal. He’s a baseball player. The expensive trial and inconsequential conviction served no public purpose. The only rational explanations for the government’s are actions retribution for a personal vendetta and wanting a high-profile head on a pike.
Jeff Novitzky’s inquisition was unnecessary. It may have resulted in more serious crimes than it was intended to prosecute. Novitzky illegally seized a database containing MLB’s confidential steroid test results from 2003. He created and presumably disseminated a spreadsheet containing the private medical records of 104 individuals. Despite that information being sealed, names were leaked to the media, to the same reporters who received circumstantial evidence about Lance Armstrong, another Novitzky target.
The government spent millions getting Barry Bonds before a federal jury for no compelling reason. Intending to make Bonds a pariah, the process engendered sympathy. The investigation didn’t vindicate the public, didn’t make the public safer and did nothing to inform the public, except about the state of Barry’s testicles, undoubtedly a matter of grave concern.
[Photo via Getty]