The news broke last night that a grand jury is looking into whether or not to indict Barry Bonds for perjuring himself while testifying in the Balco probe. If the evidence is there, indicting Barry Bonds is absolutely the right thing to do. Why? Let’s go back in time to those heady days, back when steroids was just a gathering cloud on the horizon. Guys were called up on the stand to testify, and each of them faced a choice: 1) Tell the truth, 2) Tell a lie, or 3) tell something in between.
Jason Giambi told the truth, and he suffered for it. He’s through the dark period now, though, and assuming he’s currently legitimate, his career is on the mend. Barry Bonds, all the evidence seems to indicate, told nothing but lies and was on the brink of having no punishment whatsoever.
So, in effect, if Bonds were to be granted the right to lie on the stand, it looks like we punish honesty and reward deceit. I don’t think that’s a message that federal prosecutors would like to send to potential witnesses in other cases.