Friday, March 25, 2011

"He doesn't meet my definition of a criminal"

Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post has a sensible column about the insanity of the federal government hounding Barry Bonds. Here's how she starts out --

Barry Bonds is a lot of things, leading off with obnoxious, but he doesn’t meet my definition of a criminal. There is a growing school of legal thought that says we have a dangerous tendency to “overcriminalize,” using criminal law to try to solve every single social problem in America. Some things are mistakes and not crimes. And some people are jerks, but not jail-worthy.

Jenkins quotes someone on behalf of the Heritage Foundation -- one of the proponents of the "Anarchy for Billionaires" approach to government -- and I must admit that he makes a ton of sense. I'm boldfacing her intro to quote --

If Bonds were anybody but a home run king, the case would have been disposed of long ago, so San Francisco’s U.S. attorneys could devote their attention to more important matters, like crack.Bonds is simply being made an example of — and whether that’s a proper use of federal power is a question that should make us all queasy.

“That may be the consequence of a just federal prosecution, but it shouldn’t be the major motivation,” says Brian Walsh, senior legal research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. “When government officials devote inordinate resources to making someone’s life miserable because they don’t like him or he’s high-profile, it doesn’t serve an important societal interest.”


Anonymous Jay said...

Giants Win,

The better half and I read it over breakfast, and we both agree with Jenkins.

I was hoping you would mention it -- thanks!

2:02 AM  

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