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Celebrities should not be let off easy when it comes to legal issues

So someone ate your cake. Three friends claim they saw the act. One of them is a little sketchy, but the other two are reliable and you believe them. All three say Joey ate your cake. So, did Joey eat your cake? Hell yeah, he did! And hell yeah, Barry Bonds knew exactly what trainer Greg Anderson was giving him when he injected him in the stomach. What is he, the new O.J. Simpson?

The jury came out in a deadlock with only one juror out of 12 that said she didn’t believe Bonds lied about receiving injections from anyone but his doctor. All because she didn’t believe one of three incriminating testimonies given.

Really, lady? You’re going to let him completely off the hook because you happen to not believe one of three witnesses, who all say they saw Anderson injecting Bonds in the stomach? It gets hazier when you get into the territory of whether or not Bond knew what he was being given, but the matter at hand was if he lied about receiving injections period. There should be no question in anyone’s mind about the injections.

Did this lady just think he was good looking? Maybe after the trial, he’d give her a nudge and a wink and then he’d whisk her off to his private island on a unicorn? What is it about celebrities and their innate ability to skirt the law and get away with it? Whatever it is, it’s not okay with the rest of us.

Are we so fascinated by their antics that we let them do as they like? Do they rationalize it by saying that they didn’t want to wrongly convict a celebrity so they voted to let them walk?

Although we’ve seen our fair share of jurors letting celebrities off the hook for obvious crimes, there are also judges to be blamed for allowing lenient house arrest sentences to replace the normal punishment of jail time, or we might see a celebrity actually serve jail time, but in a minimum security facility where they practically get their own wing of the facility. Sure, Paris Hilton went to jail, but no one can be foolish enough to think that she was treated the same way as a regular person would’ve been. I’m sure she and Tinkerbell were giggling at pictures on Facebook soon enough, just like old times. Celebrities don’t need to obey their probation periods or actually complete their community service. This starts even before their conviction — I was shocked when I saw headlines about Lindsay Lohan turning 21. I saw her in headlines years before about being an alcoholic, yet she wasn’t even old enough to drink. Apparently the stars don’t get carded like regular people do, even though their ages are publicly available.  Maybe it’s cruel to lock someone in the public eye into a situation where they’re mixed in with us regular folk. Maybe it’s unfair since they’re put under such extreme constant scrutiny. Either way, these are also reasons why celebrities shouldn’t be committing crimes in the first place. They have an example to set and there should be stiff punishments should they choose to disobey the law.

How many young, one-day baseball stars are watching Bonds get away with breaking the rules of the game? If he can cheat and still maintain his titles, record and awards, who is to stop anyone else who becomes just as good?

Sounds to me like there’s a certain juror to be blamed for ruining baseball and shuffling the celebrity “get out of jail free” card right back into the deck.

Courtney Takakuwa is a senior journalism major and contributing writer for the Daily 49er.

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