Barry Bonds’ fate is now held in the hands of 12 jurors. Jury selection was completed today, with eight women and four men selected, according to the New York Times. Those 12 people (and two alternates) are going to decide whether or not Bonds may be headed to prison for lying under oath.
Juries are supposed to be impartial when it comes to the law, but it’s hard to believe that this trial is going to have any impartiality. Baseball is America’s pastime, and even those who hate the sport tend to have an idea not only of who Barry Bonds is, but also what he’s accused of doing. Bonds has been everywhere, and his alleged crime – both in terms of what he did to baseball, and how he allegedly broke the law – has been discussed on almost every news outlet.
Can a Jury Be Impartial?
It will be interesting to see where this trial is able to go, and how impartial this jury can truly be. Bonds, whether he lied or not, left a negative impression on the baseball world – one that any sports enthusiast is unlikely to forget.
Yet one thing to also remember as this case progresses is that Bonds is not the only athlete who took steroids in baseball. In fact, hundreds of players over the years 1997 to 2003 were taking steroids, including current sluggers like Alex Rodriguez.
Jurors need to remember that this is not a trial against steroids. This is a trial against Barry Bonds and whether or not he committed perjury. The MLB should be responsible for steroid use – lax testing methods allowed a once great sport to be forever tarnished, and it’s baseball that should be held accountable, not Bonds. Bonds may have lied under oath, but his steroid use is just one of many examples of performance enhancer abuse that ran rampant in the MLB.
Keep the Barry Bonds Trial Focused on the Perjury Itself
Did Bonds break the law? Possibly. Should he go to prison if he did? Possibly. But let’s not allow the trial to demonize the star himself, as though he was the only player taking steroids to improve his stats. The MLB allowed this to happen, and it’s the MLB that should be held most accountable.
William C. Rhoden, “It’s Opening Day for Barry Bonds and the Prosecution,” New York Times
SI.com, “Rodriguez Admits to Using Steroids.” Sports Illustrated