Cleaning the Attic…


As many of you know, from time to time, I head to the top floor of my brain to clean out the attic, to clear the cobwebs, to address issues I feel strongly about only have not had time to do so.

As per the norm, my points of interest are presented in no specific order but rather haphazard is the rule of thumb here.

Jones’ing for Jail Time…
This past Friday, Olympic track star Marion Jones was sentenced in a federal court to six months in prison, two years of probation and community service for lying to federal prosecutors investigating the use of performance-enhancing substances.

Many are now clamoring that the punishment was too severe for the crime, including Daily News columnist Jenice Armstrong, who believes the punishment is too harsh.

Ms. Armstrong compared the sentenced handed down on Jones to that of former White House insider Scooter Libby, who was sentenced to 30 months for lying and obstructing a leak investigation that reached into the highest levels of the Bush administration. However Libby’s sentence was commuted by the President. How convenient for Ol’ Scooter. But that’s another topic for another day of cleaning out the attic.

Ms. Armstrong seems to base her too-harsh-of-a-punishment thinking on the fact that this is Marion Jones’ first offense, even invoking the old standby of breaking it down in dollars and sense.

“What a waste of tax dollars. Why wasn’t she put on house arrest? It’s not as if she’s alone in this scandal, considering that so many others who competed against her have tested positive for drug use as well.”

Tax dollars? Are you kidding me? That’s one of your defenses as to why Marion Jones should not do jail time? Spare me.

No, I agree completely with what the judge in this case said in laying down the sentence:

“Athletes in society serve as role models to children around the world. When there is a widespread level of cheating, it sends all the wrong messages. People live with their choices and the choice not to play by the rules has been compounded by the choice to break the law.”

Following the sentencing, Jones’ attorneys argued that jail time was unnecessary because “any deterrent message to the public has already been sent.”

But Karas replied in kind: “There are times when a sentence can have a deterrent factor.”

I think we may hear those same words again, only this time it will be directed toward a baseball player or players who have lied to federal investigators regarding the steroid scandal.
And speaking of that very topic…
I think it was Inquirer writer Bob Ford who today made reference to the fact that the writers must still be on strike because what Bud Selig and Don Fehr are saying at the hearings that are going on right now in DC are essentially the same things they said in 2005.

But on the subject of lying to investigators, which is really the issue here cause look, the whole world knows steroids were rampant in baseball and no one did a damn thing to stop it. But that’s not illegal now is it?

What is illegal is telling fibs to the feds. They tend to not like that too much.

One player, Barry Bonds, was already indicted by a federal grand jury and next may be Miguel Tejada. Of course much is being made about Roger Clemens and his possibly testifying and then potentially lying, depending on whom you believe. But that will more than likely not happen because Clemens is suing his former trainer for defamation and he could opt to not testify on the advice of his attorney during the ongoing litigation.

Of course the boys on the Hill could whip out one of them there fancy subpoenas and the semantics would change from “we’re just asking you to appear” to “we ain’t asking… we’re telling you.”

So remember the words…

“There are times when a sentence can have a deterrent factor.”

You may just be hearing them again.

‘Til next time.

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