The New York Times’s Juliet Macur sets out many of the questions she hopes Oprah asks Lance Armstrong all arranged around the hope he will disclose the identities of all those involved in his scheme to defraud the people about his use of prohibited performance enhancing drugs. Lance is about to admit that for 20 or so years he lied when he denied using such substances. He wants us to believe that now he is telling the truth. We will.
Suppose early in the morning the day after St. Patrick’s day back in 1990 several of my compatriots and I figured that most of the Boston police force would be very busy in matters surrounding alcohol. We break into the Gardner Museum and steal some of its invaluable art work. Now that I’m getting up there in years and having been imprisoned again, I go to the FBI and offer to tell them all about it in exchange for my freedom. Having done the job, I answer all their questions.They have no doubt I’m telling the truth.
The reason why we will believe Lance and why the FBI believed me is that we are in legal parlance making a statement against our self-interest. In other words, a person will normally not voluntarily implicate, incriminate or involve herself in a matter that will bring about adverse consequences. Evidence of those statements is allowed in at trial as an exception to the hearsay rule which generally prohibits out-of-court statements from coming into evidence.
It is the same as the theory used to allow admissions and confessions of a person into evidence. It is based on the long experience of humankind that in most instances a person will not admit to doing something unless she did it. You don’t go up to a cop outside a murder scene and say “I’m the murderer” unless you are. Or, tell a police officer investigating an accident you were just in that you ran the red light unless you did.
By the way, Lance in his many years of lies murdered many reputations of people who told the truth driving them out of his sport and destroying their livelihoods. He is every bit the criminal as Whitey. Here’s what a young Irish woman, Emma O’Reilly, who worked as Armstrong’s masseur said happened to her after she told the truth about his doping: “Mr. Armstrong sued me for a million euros because of my interview with David. If my word is so worthless, Mr. Strickland, why did Lance feel the need to terrorize me for more than two years? Why did Lance feel the need to try and break me? Why did I have his solicitor in my house trying to get me to retract parts of my interview?” Aside from that Armstrong labeled her a prostitute and alcoholic.
The wealthy and famous Lance Armstrong led a life of lies and cheating. He used his reputation and enormous wealth to destroy those who told the truth. He achieved his fame because he cheated and stole from people who played by the rules and who should have won the famous races like the Tour de France the chance of honor, esteem and riches. He’s not too far removed from the likes of Martorano, Flemmi, Weeks, Morris, or Salemme.
Juliet Macur’s article demonstrates the problem in dealing with all these liars. She wants Liar Lance to tell us who were his confederates. Don’t you see how absurd that is? Because he is now admitting he lied and we believe he is finally telling the truth, she suggests he tell us about his co-conspirators and we should believe he is telling the truth. On what basis can we assert that anything Lance tells us about anyone other than himself is the truth?
When I confessed to the Garner Museum heist the FBI agents believed me. They would ask who did it with me. No matter what I said, they’d believe me on the theory I’m now telling the truth. I’d know I could easily lie to them and jam in some guys I did not like. Hey, I’m a gangster, those things are easy to do for me.
I’ve pointed that out with respect to the witnesses the federal prosecutors have used against FBI Agent John Connolly and plan to use against Whitey Bulger. We believe their statements against self-interest. But the statements they make against other people are not against their self-interest. They are being made to advance their self-interest. Their history has shown that they lie to advance their self-interest.
There’s also another side to what is happening here. None of these parties is truly making a statement against his self-interest. Each one, Lance included, is doing this for the purpose of gaining a benefit. They are already suffering for the harm they caused, in Lance’s case a lifetime ban from competitive bicycling; in the others prospective lengthy prison terms.
It is reported Lance is owning up because he wants to be reinstated into the sport. Knowing his character, he probably has sub silentio deal to that effect. If so, that will forever prove what Emma Reilly said that the world of bicycling is totally corrupt. The gangsters owned up because they too had deals, some aspects of them hidden.
The only racing Lance should do in the future should be from his prison cell to the shower. The enormity of his crime cries our for him to be in prison. The idea that his evidence will be used against others is appalling. How many more lives will we let his lies ruin?
It is long time past that the courts and nation stop believing people who have openly admitted to continually lying. Their evidence should be banned. It should not be used to destroy other lives. Asking a jury which is a fact finder, or even a judge in that role, to tell when a liar is telling the truth is asking them to guess. No one can find something beyond a reasonable doubt based on a guess.