Friday, February 27, 2009

Anderson shows his loyalty

Here is the 2005 SFGate story about the Greg Anderson conviction:
Greg Anderson, 39, weight trainer to San Francisco Giants' star Barry Bonds, was sentenced to three months in prison and three months of home confinement for conspiring to distribute steroids to professional baseball players. ...

The sentences were the result of a plea deal ...

Judge Susan Illston expressed frustration that the law didn't allow tougher sentences for Conte and Anderson.

At its heart, Illston said, BALCO was about athletes who knowingly broke the rules of their sports by using performance-enhancing drugs.

"They were cheating, and you helped them cheat," Illston told Conte, saying he set out to provide sports stars with "disguising agents that would make the drugs difficult or impossible to detect" on doping tests.

She called Anderson's steroid dealing "criminally wrong and morally wrong" and faulted him for continuing to protect the baseball stars to whom he provided drugs.

"Mr. Anderson is not naming names," she said. "... He doesn't want to harm his friends."
So the judge really wanted to punish Anderson for helping baseball players violate the baseball ethics, for not naming names, and for his loyalty to his friends. But she could only punish him for his guilty plea. Helping to break home run records is not a crime.

It seems to me that the judge was acknowledging that Anderson's plea bargain allowed him to avoid naming names. If so, then he should not have to name names now at the Barry Bonds trial.

This same judge now says that most of the evidence against Barry Bonds suffers from the same flaw -- the feds don't have a witness to testify about the link to Bonds. The feds need Anderson to double-cross him, just as a couple of Bonds's former associates have double-crossed him.

Mark Purdy, a local Bonds-hating sportswriter writes:
And so the judge, the Honorable Susan Illston, will have to make a choice. She can send Anderson back behind bars yet one more time. Or she could tell Anderson "thanks" and send him home, telling prosecutors they don't have a case. Or she could think about it awhile. And bet on the prosecutors seeking yet another trial delay. As we all know, baseball has no time limit or clock. Neither does the Balco trial, apparently.

In fact, right about now, the government must consider the Bonds case one of those fixer-upper houses that has turned into a bottomless money pit. But there has been so much dough invested in the project — millions and millions of taxpayer dollars — that no one in charge wants to blow up the house and walk away.

Some people might even be rooting for Anderson at this point, admiring his loyalty. But shouldn't he be more loyal to his country? The American legal system is based on witnesses not lying in court.
Yes, I admire Anderson's loyalty. He is not lying in court. He is not breaking his deal. He is obeying the law. He cooperated with the feds by pleading guilty and supplying the testimony that shut down Balco. What he is not doing is cooperating with a multimillion dollar effort to discredit some baseball records. Good for him.

The feds are the ones who have broken their deals. Their deal with Anderson was that he would not have to name names of baseball players. Their deal with Bonds was that they would keep his grand jury testimony secret. Their job was over when they shut down Balco.

Update: The feds decided today to postpone the Barry Bonds trial, while they hunt for more admissible evidence. I think that they should just give up. There must be some more serious crimes than breaking home run records.

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