Surprised? Not really. Shocked? A little, but not at what you would think. The big news of the day is that Barry Bonds admitted to using steroids (unknowingly, though). Again, I’m not surprised. When a guy that is 175 pounds when he enters the league until he is 30 suddenly starts putting on muscle mass at 35, a little flag goes up in my mind saying, “Something doesn’t match here!” But this isn’t the most alarming part of it. Ok, he used steroids. Suspend him and put an asterisk by his records, ask him to leave, or prevent this from happening again. But my biggest beef with this whole story is the leaking of grand jury testimony to the media.
I am all for the freedom of the press. That combined with the freedom of speech allows me to post here, but when that freedom starts to impede on laws protecting our rights to privacy, we should be alarmed. Rule 6e of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure requires that “matters occurring before the grand jury” be kept secret. The rule also says that if anyone bound by secrecy reveals “matters occurring before” a grand jury, this is “CRIMINAL contempt.” (I got this from here ) I don’t know about you, but I keep hearing about Barry Bonds testifying before a federal grand jury. I want to know who leaked this information and have them prosecuted to the fullest extent. I know this may seem mundane or unneeded, but if grand jury testimonies on, what some would say, small issues such as steroids in sports get out, what’s to say that they won’t get out on cases dealing with murder or issues where privacy is key. The privacy guaranteed us in a grand jury is to protect us if we have to testify against someone who could hurt us if information got out. How are we supposed to prosecute people in power in federal courts if there is no way to protect the people testifying against them from repercussions? So, although Barry Bonds’ records may or may not be tainted (that’s up for discussion in another blog post), we should really be concerned with the leaking of grand jury testimony. Has the media gone too far?