Posted by | April 10, 2011 20:39 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Barry Bonds, the baseball home run record holder, is currently awaiting a verdict in his perjury trial.  The perjury trial stems from investigations into his use of illegal steroids.  William Rhoden makes a good point:

The prosecution, regardless of the verdict, was a colossal misuse of time and money aimed, it seems, at making an example of a larger-than-life figure…

But Rhoden buries it in a column about how Bonds has been targeted for his race.

But the eight-year pursuit of Bonds also reflects America’s discomfort with prominent, powerful, wealthy black men.

Rhoden compares Bonds’ prosecution to that of  heavyweight champion Jack Johnson a century ago.  I’m sorry, but Johnson spent his entire career dealing with racial epithets and threats.  Bonds spent his entire career in a vastly different world.  Racism exists, but using Bonds as an example of it hurts all those who have to deal with it on a daily basis.

What the Bonds case does illustrate is what can happen when prosecutors make up their minds to go after someone.  If you want to compare Bonds to someone, compare him to President Clinton and the impeachment proceedings.  Prosecutors have tremendous power to ruin lives.  Of course, even here, Bonds isn’t the best example; this guy might be.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.