Criminal Justice

Well, at Least Those Four Guys Went to Jail for a Combined Seven Months a Few Years Back


Do you know how much the BALCO steroids investigation–which is lurching toward Barry Bonds' perjury/obstruction trial in March–has cost taxpayers so far? At least $55 million, that's how much. And, and as mentioned in this space 13 months ago, the underlying case has long since wrapped up, with combined sentences of the guilty only half that served by Bonds' personal trainer for refusing to testify against his boss in front of one of the several grand juries convened for the purposes of shaming a hated athlete.

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  1. At least $55 million, that’s how much.

    Hmm, I seem to remember getting angry over this awhile ago.

    As a matter of fact, I did.

    I don’t have the figures, but I’m confident that at least 10X man hours were spent on this case compared to the average unsolved homocide here in Motown. Priorities, you know.

  2. At least $55 million…

    Well, what do you expect? With Barry Bonds unemployed, the costs to the public defenders office for his representation are astronomical.

  3. I don’t have the figures, but I’m confident that at least 10X man hours were spent on this case compared to the average unsolved homocide here in Motown.

    I’m guessing that $55MM vastly exceeds Detroit’s annual budget for homicide investigations, and wiki tells me Detroit had 394 homicides in 2007.

  4. Hey, Barry Bonds is a jerk and a possible drug user. He’s lucky to be getting a trial before the execution.

  5. According to Detroit’s 2005-2006 budget, the homicide investigation appropriation is indeed only $9MM.

    Not to fear though. After you add in $10MM for narcotics, $3MM for vice, and the appropriations for various other divisions, you find that the entire Criminal Investigation Bureau budget is on par at $54MM.

  6. I highly recommend the documentary “Bigger, Stronger, Faster” just to watch Henry Waxman. After being on the committee (he might have been Chairman) that reviewed the Mitchell Report, he sits there checking with his aide on some of the more obscure aspects of steroids, such as something like “Steroids are illegal, right?”.

  7. Let’s just round that homicide budget up to $10MM, to be nice. That means that Detroit spends just over $25,000 per homicide. Which comes out to, what 0.45% per homicide as the BALCO investigation? Let’s double that, just for fun, to include court and ancillary costs, and we still can’t quite get to 1%.

    Nice priorities we have there, no?

  8. But, Matt, you’re forgetting the entertainment value of the entire farce. Isn’t it at least on a par with what Hollywood can turn out for the same price?

  9. Yawn.

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