Friday, November 14, 2008

Nice to Have a Second Opinion

ESPN's Legal Beagle Lester Munson looks at the daunting task facing the Bonds prosecutors and comes down in basically the same place I did last March after wasting an afternoon reading the indictment and all of the grand jury testimony:
A year ago Saturday, a federal grand jury in San Francisco first charged Barry Bonds with lying about his use of steroids and human growth hormone, and in the ensuing months, bits and pieces of the government's evidence have emerged during pretrial skirmishing. That evidence leaves little doubt Bonds used the drugs . . .

. . . But Bonds' use of performance-enhancing drugs is only the first half of the case against him. The federal prosecutors must also show he lied about his use when he testified before a federal grand jury, and the government's case is less impressive in that area.

Although two prosecutors interrogated Bonds in the grand jury room and Bonds was there alone (his lawyers were barred from the room under federal rules), the prosecutors' questions were occasionally inept and allowed Bonds to avoid the kind of
definitive answers that would be a solid foundation for a perjury charge.
Hard case to prove on the crappy transcript they have. In most cases like this, the feds would try to strike a deal and the defendant would probably be inclined to take it. Ain't gonna happen here, however. The prosecutors have scorched the Earth trying to get at Barry's family and friends (and family of friends) and the P.R. blitz associated with every move in the buildup to the indictment was just too great. To give up now would be a humiliation for the prosecution even if it is the right move.

And if I was Bonds? I'd tell 'em to pound sand.

4 comments:

Andy said...

I'm a lawyer . . . I've never heard the phrase "pound sand" used by anyone who wasn't a lawyer.

tadthebad said...

I'm no lawyer, but I learned that saying years ago from my father...who isn't a lawyer. Too much time with other lawyers, perhaps? Not that there's anything wrong with it...

Part of me wants Bonds to go down for perjury, but the other part of me wishes the Feds had something better to do.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Yeah, I've only heard "pound sand" from lawyers too. There's a whole bunch of words and phrases like that, even before you get to the actual legal jargon. I tend not to realize I'm using them until I argue with my wife or something and she accuses me of "lawyering" her. Which, by the way, is the signal that I have lost the argument.

dlf said...

Craig, as someone who has been both a lawyer and, more importantly, married longer than you, let me give you a piece of advise. You haven't lost the argument when she accuses you of "lawyering," you lost the argument about 1 picosecond after it started. If, in the argument, you find you are right ... appologize immediately.