Bonds ruling erases three years of litigious progress

Bonds ruling erases three years of litigious progress
July 1, 2014, 1:15 pm
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The court has not set a date for a new hearing, but Barry Bonds case will be retried. (USATSI)

Justice moves slowly under any circumstances, but let's be honest, kids -- you knew without knowing that in the case of The United States of America v. Barry Lamar Bonds, that it would eventually move backwards.

Now the question before the court of opinion is -- do you still give a damn?

Bonds has won a rehearing of his felony conviction for obstruction of justice, which is now three years old, based on events that are more than a decade old, which means we are back where we stopped in 2011, when he was convicted in part based on a rambling answer to a question about what he took to make himself, well, Barry Bonds.

[NEWS: Judge: Court to rehear Bonds' trial]

This seems to be an awful lot of work for a trial that resulted in 30 days of house arrest already served and a $4,100 fine already paid, but this case long ago took on a life of its own. People decided eons ago his guilt or innocence, and having done so have never moved off their original positions.

The law, however, purports to have no comparable position, and ideally anyway must seek out the truth, such as it is, until it, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, is found. Besides, both Bonds and the feds have spent way more than $4,100 to get to this point, and neither side seems eager to stop shoveling now.

The down-side of all this is that more time and money will be expended on a case that only the principals still care about, though justice should always be about resolution before economics. The this-costs-too-much argument has always been the specious argument of the pro-Bonds side, but the speed with which this has not been resolved is probably a more compelling issue, since the nation, as a whole, long ago reached Bonds fatigue. Justice so slow that everyone has lost the will to pay attention really isn't justice in the classical sense.

The up-side though is that no matter what the result, the argument over his Hall of Fame candidacy, which has almost nothing to do with this, will go on forever. Bonds will be re-convicted and be known as a legal liar, or his appeal will be upheld at which point he can say to those voters who have so far rejected him, "Well, NOW what do you have to say?"

The answer to that, of course, will be, "I'm still not voting for you," because like we said, positions are positions.

But that's for another day . . . or the way this has gone, year. For now, we are back in 2011, and with any decent lawyering on either side, we might end up back in 1997, which is before all this allegedly began. After all, with all the records Bonds shattered in his career, what's a time-space continuum more or less?