Volokh Conspiracy: Zywicki: Will Barry Bonds Be Indicted?

Here’s some wisdom on the BALCO case from GMU law professor Todd Zywicki of The Volokh Conspiracy. There’s a small connection here. Todd served on my dissertation committee, and I have a particular fondness for him since he passed me. :-) He’s a nice guy too, and one heck of a scholar.

The interesting issue is whether Bonds is going to be indicted on perjury charges arising from his testimony to the grand jury that he never knowingly took steroids (I’m going to use “steroids” as a shorthand for performance enhancing drugs). The first grand jury terminated without indicting him. I understand that the grand jury is supposed to permit the indictment only if there is probable cause that he committed a crime. But assume that the indictment will come down only if the prosecutors think that they can prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt, which I understand to be the typical practice in such things. Regardless, what I’m interested in here is whether the prosecutors will be able to prove perjury beyond a reasonable doubt. Now, after reading the book and other coverage, and looking at Bonds with my own eyes, I am comfortable concluding that the preponderance of the evidence supports the conclusion that Bonds took steroids or human growth hormone.

It is being reported that Bonds’s trainer Greg Anderson will again refuse to testify before the grand jury about Bonds’s supposed steroid use. After reading the book, it seems to me that unless Anderson testifies, the feds very well may not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Bonds knowingly took steroids.

Read my review of Game of Shadows here.

Thanks to David Pinto for the pointer.

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