Marion Jones Sentenced to Six Months for Lying About Steroid Use

Despite a recommendation by federal prosecutors that Marion Jones receive 0 to 6 months in prison for lying to officials about her steroid use and a check scam involving her ex-husband, a federal judge today sent her to jail for six months -- followed 800 hours community service and 2 years of supervised release. Why? He said she let children down.

"Athletes in society have an elevated status," the judge said before imposing sentence. "They entertain. They inspire. And perhaps most importantly, [they serve] as role models for children around the world."

Those children, the judge inferred, were lied to by Jones who should instead have been a model for "hard work, sportsmanship," and the lessons of "how to win and lose within the rules."

Marion Jones didn't plead guilty to lying to children. She pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators. While the judge stayed within the prosecutor's recommendation, he came in at the top end and it seems largely because of her denials of steroid use contained in a book she authored that were not part of the case against her. Is it allowed? Yes. But I'd rather he based her sentence on her criminal conduct rather than on her civic responsibility.

And it does seem like she caught a break for lying about the check scam so perhaps it all balances out in the wash.

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    Don;t you just hate the (none / 0) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 11, 2008 at 07:56:48 PM EST
    athletes as role models nonsense?

    Yes and on top (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jgarza on Fri Jan 11, 2008 at 08:45:06 PM EST
    of that they should never make mistakes, because you know kids will never make mistakes, so seeing their role model make one would be awful.

    Isn't the ideas that you have to be flawless, and super human, the kinds of thing that leads people to  dope, cheat etc?


    Thn bad guys should get less time (none / 0) (#2)
    by lilybart on Fri Jan 11, 2008 at 08:12:36 PM EST
    because no one  expected anything but lies from them, right?

    This ruling is utter horse-hockey

    I still like Jones (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jgarza on Fri Jan 11, 2008 at 08:40:57 PM EST
    She is not the only guilty person in all of this, but she seems generally remorseful, and ready to accept punishment and responsibility. This punishment is over the top though, i don't understand why there is any need for her to go to jail at all.  She has been shamed, her career is over, her medals are gone, all her awards are gone.  Those are just punishments, but jail, give me a break!  The only physical harm is to herself.  certainly she cheated at the Olympics, but last time I checked that wasn't punishable by jail.

    How naive is our justice system to think that sending her to jail is going to do squat about doping, they want to do something about, they have a culture in athletics to deal with not Marion Jones.

    Great post Jeralyn

    Rule Of Law... (none / 0) (#5)
    by garyb50 on Fri Jan 11, 2008 at 09:21:28 PM EST
    ...what are you gonna do?

    Pressure (none / 0) (#6)
    by Natal on Fri Jan 11, 2008 at 10:36:08 PM EST
    I would think this sentencing would put a lot pressure on Clemens when he's scheduled to testify. A precedent has been set.

    Asswipe Judge (none / 0) (#7)
    by bernarda on Sat Jan 12, 2008 at 10:32:36 AM EST
    The greater criminal in this case is the arrogant judge.

    In what way is Jones a threat to society?

    Will Bush step in?? n/t (none / 0) (#8)
    by JayR70 on Sat Jan 12, 2008 at 11:15:21 AM EST

    Double standards with drugs and athletes? (none / 0) (#9)
    by ctrenta on Sat Jan 12, 2008 at 12:40:41 PM EST

    I'd be curious of any of the baseball players that have lied to investigators will end up in jail "for six months" like Marion Jones. I'm not letting Jones off the hook mind you. I'm just saying they're more prone to prosecute and jail women when they commit crimes over men. I suppose we're seeing this same treatment with Marions Jones vs. someone like Rafael Palmero?

    Just a thought.

    No sympathy (none / 0) (#10)
    by katmandu on Mon Jan 14, 2008 at 01:33:35 AM EST
    She was involved in check fraud, somebody lost
    money.  As someone whose had their entire
    checking account wiped clean with a few
    fraudulent checks---I have no sympathy.
    If she wants to do steroids, I don't care. Just
    don't steal.