Are Bonds, Clemens cases worth the money, effort?

April 11, 2011

Bigger issues to tackle

Nick Fierro

The Morning Call

Using our tax dollars to determine whether Barry Bonds took steroids or lied about taking steroids or whether his testicles really did shrink is beyond comprehension.

Sure, a small percentage of the public might care, but not me and not the majority of Americans — many of whom need to take out a second mortgage just to fill their gas tanks these days.

Bonds is a jerk and probably deserves whatever kind of misfortune he's sure to face down the road. Ditto for Roger Clemens. But c'mon already with the government involvement. This entire episode stinks of politics. It's just another witch hunt that insults all common sense and serves only to arouse already heightened suspicions of our federal system.

I mostly pity the jurors who were forced to wade through all this swill without hip boots.

nfierro@tribune.com

Can't give liars a pass

Bill Shaikin

Los Angeles Times

It depends on whether you judge the prosecutions by the mission or solely by the results.

Bonds' lawyers were so confident their side would win, they did not call a single witness. The case against Clemens is far stronger because Brian McNamee — who is to the Clemens case what Greg Anderson was to the Bonds case — is the chief accuser.

So let's say the federal government goes 1-1. The feds handled baseball's steroid scandal far better than baseball did — armed, of course, with the investigatory powers of law enforcement. The overall mission was this: We want to go after the steroid dealers and distributors, and as long as athletes tell the truth, we won't go after them.

It would ring a little hollow not to prosecute the athletes who didn't, and even if the feds cannot prove Bonds lied, does anyone really believe he told the truth?

wshaikin@tribune.com

Verdict is secondary

Dave Hyde

Sun Sentinel

The only reason to prosecute Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens is to show it's one thing to lie to sportswriters and another entirely to lie to the government under oath.

That's it. That's reason enough too.

Don't talk about time and cost. It's a drop in the syringe.

Don't even talk about the verdict. That's secondary and nothing to get worked up over. Who really cares if the perjury cases of Bonds and Clemens don't pass the burden of proof? Everyone knows the score here.

The question is whether famous people can lie under oath with no consequence. In this manner, Bonds and Clemens serve one final public service for potential perjurers everywhere.

dhyde@tribune.com

What's the point?

Dave van Dyck

Chicago Tribune

While we're all in favor of truth, justice and the American way, it would seem cash- and time-strapped prosecutors could find a better way to spend our money than trying to prove a point that two high-profile and very rich athletes actually (gasp) told lies.

What's the point exactly? To lock them up for years (no)? Embarrass them publicly (probably)? And this is not to diminish the fact they committed crimes if they lied under oath, although everyone should know "truthful" and "athletes" are rarely used in the same sentence.

It's possible, given they can spend freely on good defense lawyers, that neither might be proved guilty, and what then? With all the cases backlogged in our court system, the only way these trials might be worth it is if Bonds and Clemens would have to pay the prosecution's costs if found guilty.

dvandyck@tribune.com

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