Breaking: Records in hand, Barry Bonds has just been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice:
Baseball superstar Barry Bonds was charged Thursday with perjury and obstruction of justice, the culmination of a four-year federal probe into whether he lied under oath to a grand jury investigating steroid use by elite athletes.
Um….wow. I don’t really know enough yet to say more.
UPDATE: The short answer here is, perjury and obstruction are serious crimes; at the same time, they – and their close cousin, lying to federal investigators – can sometimes be all too easily resorted to by overzealous prosecutors. The key issues in these cases, at least as far as the debate over whether charges should have been brought, comes down to the degree to which the defendant (1) blatantly misrepresented some fact and can’t reasonably be said to have just forgotten, misunderstood the question, or shaded the truth, and (2) placed, at least for some period of time, a genuine roadblock in the way of a legitimate investigation or lawsuit (i.e., the difference between hiding a fact and merely offering a strained characterization of known facts).