•Baseball slugger Barry Bonds was found guilty by a San Francisco jury in April of obstructing justice by giving an evasive answer to a grand jury looking into doping allegations. He may be retried on a more serious perjury charge.
•Roger Clemens, the seven-time Cy Young Award-winning pitcher, was also standing trial for statements he gave about doping – in his case, for allegedly lying to Congress by denying the use of steroids, despite a mountain of evidence against him. But on July 14, the judge in the case declared a mistrial. He set a Sept. 2 hearing to discuss where the case goes next, if anywhere.
Ethicists say there is, in some cases, moral justification for not quite living up to George Washington's "I cannot tell a lie" maxim. But the recent spate of lying scandals nevertheless hints at a deeper problem, some say: that serious lies and outright cheating have gotten so pervasive – or at least so well publicized – that they no longer register for many as a moral failing. Yet the justice system, the political system, and even democracy itself can't function if they're built on a foundation of fibs, insist legal experts, ethicists, and others.