NPR logo Would That Make Him a Genetically Modified Ham Sandwich?

Would That Make Him a Genetically Modified Ham Sandwich?

After federal prosecutors let it be known that a grand jury would not be indicting Barry Bonds today, the slugger's lawyer, Michael Rains, held a news conference, at which he announced it was a good day for his client." They don't even have enough to indict a ham sandwich, much less Barry Bonds."

An odd reference at first glance, but ham sandwiches and grand juries actually go way back together. In 1985, Sol Wachtler, former chief judge of New York's court of appeals, told the Daily News that prosecutors have so much sway over grand juries they could get them to "indict a ham sandwich." The saying has been a staple for legal pundits ever since.

But just because Bonds didn't get the ham sandwich treatment today, doesn't mean he's out of his beef yet. A new grand jury will continue to investigate whether Bonds lied under oath when he said he never knowingly took steroids.



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