Thursday, March 24, 2011

Barry Bonds, Perry Mason, and Cross-Examination

As most of you are probably aware, the perjury trial of baseball home run king Barry Bonds is presently underway in Los Angeles.  Simply put, the focus of the criminal trial is whether or not Bonds committed perjury before a federal grand jury in 2003 concerning his alleged use of steroids.  Presently, according to news reports, Bonds' criminal defense attorney is cross-examining a key prosecution witness against the baseball star.
Reading about the Bonds case reminded me of the old Perry Mason t.v. program, which starred Raymond Burr.  In Perry Mason, cross-examination always appeared easy!  Ole' Perry always seemed to get the state's star witness to admit that they were the real murderer, just after the last t.v. commercial!
However, trust me, in a real courtroom, cross-examination isn't so easy.  As a former prosecutor and, currently, as an Augusta, Georgia criminal defense attorney, I am generally content if I can lay down a bunt single or two, during cross-examination, let alone hit a homerun, like Bonds.  It will be interesting to see if Bonds' criminal lawyer can swing for the fences in this case!

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