Barry Bonds Indicted – Ethical Choices and Consequences

Chuck Gallagher - The Ethics ExpertToday Barry Bonds – Major League Baseball’s home run king – was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.  If convicted Bonds could face up to 30 years in prison.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/law/11/15/bonds.indicted/index.html

Is this a witch hunt or is that the wheels of justice in the Federal system move slowly?

Based on my experience…the wheels move slowly.   Barry Bonds is innocent until proven guilty.  That a premise of our judicial system.  However, rarely are people indicted without a reasonable chance of a conviction.

The issue at hand isn’t whether Bonds used performance enhancing drugs.  Rather, every choice has a consequence.  What seems to be playing out here is almost the same thing that landed Martha Stewart in prison.  Not telling the complete truth.

“During the criminal investigation, evidence was obtained including positive tests for the presence of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing substances for Bonds and other athletes,” the indictment said.

According to the Canadian Press, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig stated, “I have yet to see the details of this indictment and while everyone in America is considered innocent until proven guilty, I take this indictment very seriously and will follow its progress closely.”

As a professional speaker, I often have the opportunity to speak to groups and consult with companies about their choices, ethical behavior and the consequences (either negative or positive) that can follow.  Likewise, as a former inmate in Federal prison, I met far to many people who ended up incarcerated for not being completely truthful.

Every choice has a consequence and there are no benefits to withholding information.  You do reap what you sow.  You may avoid a consequence for some time, but you will always pay the price for choices in some form or fashion.

I wish Barry Bonds the best.  Meanwhile for the rest of us…ethical choices bring about positive results. 

Any comments?

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