So Marion Jones was sentenced to 6 months of jail time for lying about steroid use and something about her punishment really bothers me. I’m not condoning steroid use. I’m just tired of seeing harsher punishment applied in some cases and overlooked in others. So here are some examples of “crimes” and their corresponding punishments.
1. Marion Jones. Lied about steroid use, and got 6 months of jail time. A federal judge had decided to send a message instead of showing leniency.
Real crime: successful female athlete, who may or may not have known about the steroids. Gets a harsh punishment to send a message to the rest of the sports establishment… and for the mistakes of athletes such as Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds and that other dude that won Tour de France post Lance Armstrong… Floyd Landis.
2. Martha Stewart. Convicted of insider trading… which resulted in a gain of $46,000. Spent 5 months in jail. Brought back the pancho as a fashion statement as part of her punishment.
Real crime: Being a bitchy, successful, aggressive woman and breaking through the glass ceiling. Does anyone remember what happened to the white collar criminals of Enron, WorldCom and Adelphia, responsible for billions of dollars and thousands of jobs lost?
3. Bill Clinton. Lied about getting a blow-job from an intern. Which I still don’t think constitutes as sex.* As a result of this little misunderstanding, he was impeached by the Republican controlled House.
Real crime: Popularity rating of 65%, higher than any other president.
4. George Bush. In contrast to Clinton’s lie about sex*, George Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction and invaded a sovereign nation under false pretenses (for oil, NOT for democracy). A decision that has ultimately cost thousands of US soldiers and Iraqi citizens their lives and made a hostile region even more volatile. A decision that destroyed the infrastructure of a country that was in a vulnerable state to begin with. We now need to spend billions of dollars in aid to help with the reconstruction efforts. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy could use those billions to improve education and health care. And Bush got rewarded for his lie by a second term in the White House.
So listen up people. If you’re going to commit a crime, make sure you are not part of a disenfranchised minority group, you’re not threatening the status quo, and your daddy has friends in the Senate, the House and the Supreme Court.
*Side note: If blow jobs constitute sex then all those confused teens and young adults that took virginity pledges, promising to save themselves for marriage but instead practice oral and anal intercourse, really aren’t virgins. That’s right kids. You’re not virgins. Abstinence does not work. But condoms are 96% effective.