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The Barry Bonds Defense


A big story for baseball fans these days is the federal perjury trial of Barry Bonds.  Bonds is the Major League home run king by a wide margin.  You have to be really strong to hit a home run in a park of major league dimensions, and Bonds hit over 700 of them.  This resulted in his making a ton of money, as you might expect.

Bonds was asked about this before a federal grand jury, and said that he never knowingly took steroids.  His trainer, the one who injected him, has refused to testify and is currently in jail for coercive contempt.

Bonds' trial started yesterday.  According to this AP story, Bonds's defense lawyer stepped up to the plate this way:

Barry Bonds admits using steroids during his baseball career, his lawyer told a jury Tuesday. The catch is that Bonds' personal trainer misled him into believing he was taking flax seed oil and arthritis cream.

"I know that doesn't make a great story," Allen Ruby said during his opening statement at the home run leader's perjury trial. "But that's what happened."

OK, let's see if I have this straight.  Bonds was a professional athlete, a man who made his living with his physical abilities.  He repeatedly allowed his body to be injected with a substance, not knowing what it was.  Over the years, as this continued, his body became laden with muscle, enabling him to hit a zillion home runs.  This in turn allowed him to make a zillion dollars.

But he didn't know.............What, dontcha believe me?


Not only did Bonds's body become "laden with muscle" as an obvious clue that he was injecting steroids, but I believe the evidence will also show that Bonds also lost most of his hair, had increasingly violent mood swings, developed severe acne on his torso, his testicles shrank, and he had difficulty performing sexually -- all classic symptoms of steroid abuse.

But he had no idea those were steroids! Right. And I'm the Pope.

Bond's version of events is preposterous but I believe there will be at least one juror who was untruthful during voir dire about their impartiality and will holdout for acquittal based not on the evidence but an idiosyncratic view that this is an imprudent use of federal resources.

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