Editorial Roger Clemens Perjury Trial & The War on Drugs

Roger Clemens perjury trial recently wrapped up earlier this week, in which he was charged with lying to Congress regarding his use of human growth hormone (HGH), and the result was a not-guilty vote. Experts will tell you that this does not remove doubt about his use of performance enhancing drugs, it simply means that 12 jurors could not decisively conclude his innocence.

Clemens still has a few years to go before he becomes Hall of Fame eligible, but early indicators suggest that most voters still think that he is guilty (his statistics would back this up) and it is unlikely that he will get elected, at least not in his first try. This pattern has already been established with Mark McGuire, a candidate who has admitted to using enhancers and has not been admitted in his first few rounds of votes.

The defense had a difficult job of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Clemens took HGH and was injected by trainer Brian McNamee, who Clemens lawyers painted as a liar and a crook. In the end, they needed each one of the 12 jurors to convict Clemens, which didn’t happen.

The biggest issue with this case is that it took $150 million in taxpayer money to fund, which included a retrial after the defense used inadmissible evidence, despite being warned against it. Why was convicting The Rocket worth millions in taxpayer dollars?

The Neverending War on Drugs

In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan’s administration began the War on Drugs, which continues to this day, despite the fact that it is not an actual war, it only targets certain drugs, and it only effects certain groups, namely the poor and minorities. Was Clemens a casualty of this “war?”

Possibly. The general public is against such egregious misappropriation of public funds, yet that doesn’t seem to stop the government. In fact, the War on Drugs costs the U.S. government more than simply legalizing them would. Certainly wasted money pursuing Clemens could be better spent on stimulating growth in the job sector?

Hopefully, the jury’s judgment, which included numerous members being kicked out for falling asleep during the trial, will help hammer home this Libertarian message: “we don’t want you wasting our money fighting a never-ending war on drugs!”

With the economy slowly recovering, let people do what they want and use tax money on more prudent things than trying to taint the image of a superstar who, frankly, already has a seriously blemished image that can’t get much worse.

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