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January 19, 2008

Feds get another conviction in steriod investigations

As detailed in this New York Times article, "Dana Stubblefield, a former defensive lineman in the NFL, pleaded guilty in federal court here Friday to charges that he made false statements to a federal agent about his use of performance-enhancing drugs."  According to the article, here's the latest head-count in the federal prosecutions:

Stubblefield’s plea is the latest victory for the United States attorney’s office since the investigation into Balco began.  Six other people have pleaded guilty, including the Balco founder, Victor Conte, and none of the cases has gone to trial.  Barry Bonds, baseball’s career home run leader, and the former cyclist Tammi Thomas have pleaded not guilty.

As I mentioned in this recent post about the Marion Jones sentencing, I remain troubled that the highest profile athletes to be prosecuted in federal court for lying about steroid use have all been African-Americans (Barry Bonds, Marion Jones and now Stubblefield).  Of course, Roger Clemens and other prominent white athletes are getting caught up in all the steroid ugliness, but these folks have not yet been subject to federal prosecution.  Though I am not making direct or even indirect allegations of biased prosecutorial practices, I do consider the pattern of outcomes to be worthy of commentary and critical reflection.

UPDATE:  Over at TalkLeft here, T. Chris adds these comments:

Since President Bush doesn't believe that lying to federal investigators or grand jurors really deserves punishment (at least in the case of his friend and fellow rascal Scooter Libby), do you suppose he'll commute the sentences of Pro Bowl defensive lineman Dana Stubblefield or Olympic medalist sprinter Marion Jones?  Oh, and to all the disgruntled Republicans who complained that nobody gets charged or convicted or punished for what Scooter Libby did -- tell that to Stubblefield and Jones.

Of course, there is an important distinction between Scooter Libby and Stubblefield and Jones:  the later two ultimately admitted to their crimes, whereas Libby never has and was found guilty by a jury after forcing a special prosecutor to go through a high-profile (and high-cost) trial.  But, unlike those without connections, Libby did not end up paying a trial penalty.

January 19, 2008 at 12:08 PM | Permalink


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Out of the whole federal criminal justice system, Doug, you choose to look at a couple of sports figures and Scooter Libby, and think that racial particulars in these oddball cases worthy of comment?

Clemens, as far as I know, didn't lie in a federal investigation, so the comparison is not apt. Doug, are you trying to back up Obama's silly "just-us" comment?

Posted by: federalist | Jan 20, 2008 12:27:17 PM

Additionally, I might point out that when we look at politically connected people getting pardons, the diversity is striking. Mel Reynolds, Pena, Libby, and the list goes on and on.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 21, 2008 2:47:00 PM

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Posted by: Jordan Retro | Nov 14, 2010 1:29:02 AM

Additionally, I might point out that when we look at politically connected people getting pardons, the diversity is striking. Mel Reynolds, Pena, Libby, and the list goes on and on.

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