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Mill and The Barry Bonds Perjury Case

April 13, 2011

Barry Bonds was an all-star for the San Francisco Giants.  Bonds hit 762 home runs in his great career, more than anyone in the history of baseball.  Barry Bonds was always questioned and disliked due to his shady past with steroid usage.  In 2003 Barry Bonds was in front of a federal grand jury and said that he knew nothing about getting steroids from anyone but his doctor.  He is now being accused of knowingly lying to a grand jury, and is being charged with perjury.  As we progress through the Bonds trial, many traits of John Mill’s work appears to be present. 

               From Burke, to Machiavelli, to Socrates, it seems that John Mill and his ideas are most applicable to today’s society.  His strides in feminism and works on bringing out the truth are things that most people still agree upon.  As for the Barry Bonds case, the panel failed to agree upon a verdict Monday.  “The eight women and four men on the jury heard 25 prosecution witnesses over two weeks, but the defense rested last week without calling a witness.” (CNN)  The jurors have definitely received their fair share of testimonies from the prosecutors.  According to Mill, regardless of whether the testimonies are correct or not, they should listen to them all.  This is because no one is ever absolutely certain on something. (Mill 601)  Thus far the jurors seem to be doing the right thing and hearing everyone.  They aren’t saying that these are a false, but they are giving them a chance in case they might end up being the deciding factors in the this case. 

               When Bonds was questioned about the case, he told the grand jury that he thought he was being given flaxseed oil.  As referenced above, Mill would want the jurors to take this as a possible truth as well.  What the jurors need to do is continually discuss the situation, where the truth should eventually appear.  They must be patient with the progress avoiding early assumptions, and staying open to anything stated.  Later in Mill’s text, he goes on to say that one is aware of nothing until opinions are heard.  Without the opinions of others, that person is considered clueless on the situation (Mill 609).  The jury has already correctly done this task, as they have heard from 25 witnesses.  They seem to have a good understanding in the case, and this would satisfy Mill.

               The trial has been going on for over a month now, and is set to last longer as the jurors continue to discuss their final verdict.  They may never know the absolute truth, but through the rules of Mill they should come across a fairly accurate and reasonable finale.  John Mill has seemed to add many great attributes to our world.  Let’s hope that his influence has accurately solved many court cases, as well as many more to come.   Bonds and his mishap with steroids in the past may never go unnoticed, but hopefully it will be resolved in a fair manner that has little negative effects.

 http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/04/11/barry.bonds.trial/index.html?iref=allsearch


6 Comments
  1. Adam Evanski permalink
    April 13, 2011 5:13 PM

    It’s one thing to take something as the truth like Mill preaches, but when Bond’s claimed he was getting flaxseed oil for steroids, now that is a little shady. I think you bring up many good points but there is a fine line to walk when deciphering truth from BS. It’s crazy how many witnesses it takes to convict one person like Bonds given all the evidence surrounding him, and on top of this he lied to a jury before!

    • Josh Platko permalink
      April 13, 2011 6:02 PM

      very true. in fact he was found guilty earlier today.

  2. Stephan Sakhai permalink
    April 13, 2011 7:29 PM

    Yeh but only for one of the charges. As the jurors continue to hear more and more testimonies, they will continue to find out more truths, as you mentioned, and this adds to the point you were trying to make originally (I believe).
    The jury heard enough to convict him one one count of obstruction of justice, but not enough for other charges. They will continue to hear more information until they can decide.

  3. April 13, 2011 8:12 PM

    I agree that the jurors must listen to everything that all the witnesses have to say. People can have different accounts on the situation and their relationships with Barry Bonds. I do agree that Bond’s claim that he thought he was taking flaxseed oil rather then steroids just sounds false. The more that the jurors hear and can take from each and every witness called by the prosecution can be helpful in determining the outcome of the case. As a major follower of the MLB and its history, I hope the truth about the MLB’s homerun “king” comes out.

  4. micahfr permalink
    April 13, 2011 10:50 PM

    I agree with you that jurors should have to listen to everything presented to them. Not just because Mill writes so, but because the rest of somebody’s life depends on them listening and interpreting. As others have said before me in comments, Bonds’ claim that he believed that he was taking flaxseed oil seems like a stretch, but it is clearly within the realm of possibility. Also, let’s not forget just exactly how unimportant this trial is. Whether or not Barry Bonds had been convicted of perjury for lying to a grand jury about knowingly taking steroids, he is still the leader in the all-time home run category in the MLB. People are upset that ‘he cheated, he took steroids’. Of course, his admitted steroid use came before 2003, when steroids were not against the rules in baseball. And for that reason, many fans want to see an asterisk next to his name in the record books. I am fine with that, as long as MLB also puts asterisks next to the name of everyone that played in the pre-integrated era. Babe Ruth did not have a lot of the resources and equipment that Barry Bonds did. Ruth did not have batting gloves, good therapies, off days, or African Americans and Latinos to compete against. When Bonds was taking steroids, if he did at all, they were essentially another training tool. They were no different than lifting weights, pre-season training, or healthy eating, when compared to earlier eras of baseball.

  5. April 15, 2011 3:34 PM

    I agree with the post and the comments. If the jurors took into account all of the different witnesses to his steroid abuse, the truth will eventually come up. This is one of Mill’s principle arguments, in that no matter if the opinions are correct or not, one has to take into account all of them to find out the truth. It turns out that in this case, the truth was that Bonds was lying in court and did lie about taking steroids. Mill would probably agree on the conviction because of all the different people that came forward and voiced their opinion on the matter.

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