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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