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Barry Bonds Sentencing : Probation, Home Detention

Update: Bonds was sentenced to 2 years probation and 30 days home detention. The sentence was stayed pending appeal.

Former baseball giant Barry Bonds faces sentencing today (11 am PT) for his conviction for obstruction of justice, resulting from his evasive answer to a grand jury question in the BALCO steroids use probe.

Prosecutors are asking for 15 months. The Presentence Report by the Probation Department recommends probation, location monitoring and community service.

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Barry Bonds Convicted of Obstruction, Jury Hangs on False Statement Counts

Baseball legend Barry Bonds was convicted of one count of obstruction of justice today. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on three counts alleging Bonds made false statements to the grand jury.

What an odd verdict. To convict on the obstruction count, the jury had to consider 7 separate statements, and determine which, if any constituted obstruction. They had to be unanimous on the particular statement.

Of the 7 statements, the jury found Bonds obstructed justice as to one of them, referred to as "Statement C." (The first three statements were the same as those alleged in the three false statement counts. The jury didn't find he obstructed justice with any of those statements. The other four statements were passages from his grand jury testimony, with the underlined portion being the statement the Government alleged amounted to obstruction.)

Here is the instruction the jury was given on obstruction of justice: [More...]

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Barry Bonds Closing Arguments: Guess You Had to Be There

Closing arguments were held yesterday in the Barry Bonds perjury trial. If you thought you could get a sense of how they went from media reports, think again. It's like they were in different courtrooms watching different trials.

The San Francisco Chronicle reporter leans heavily towards the Government, praising prosecutors and characterizing the defense as "flailing around."

...the prosecutors finished strong, while the defense seemed to flail around, devoting a lot of its time to attacking governmental power.

Mark Purdy at the San Jose Mercury News said the opposite: Defense attorney Allen Ruby "stole the show" and owned the courtroom while the prosecutors never connected:

Allen Ruby, the lead Bonds attorney, easily won the best of show award for the trial. Friday, he was a Pavarotti during his closing argument, his deep voice commanding the courtroom as he uttered memorable quotes...By contrast, the leadoff prosecutor, Jeff Nedrow, looked like Alex Smith trying to win a big game for the 49ers. Very smart, very earnest, but never quite able to make the big statement when it counted.

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Barry Bonds Trial: Day 2 of Testimony

The Government began presenting its evidence yesterday in the trial of baseball giant Barry Bonds, who is charged with making false declarations to the grand jury about steroid use and obstruction of justice.

Jeff Novitsky, former IRS agent and lead investigator in the steroid cases, was the first witness. He testified Bonds' misstatements to the grand jury hampered the investigation. One of the elements of the false statement charge is that the statement had to be material to the grand jury investigation.

Also yesterday, the Judge sent Bonds' former trainer, Gregg Anderson, back to jail for refusing to testify. He'll stay there for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last a month. [More..]

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Barry Bonds Perjury Trial Begins Monday

Jury selection begins tomorrow in Barry Bond's trial on charges of lying to the grand jury and obstruction of justice stemming from his testimony before a grand jury investigating steroid use.

Bonds denied using steroids and denied that his trainer, Greg Anderson, injected him with steroids. Bonds has gotten some good rulings on pre-trial motions. The judge barred the introduction of his drug tests and Anderson's doping calendars.

Anderson will not be a witness against Bonds. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, prosecutors will be able to introduce one steroid test from 2003. "When retested, it showed Bonds was using "the clear" and "the cream," prosecutors say. They have listed 52 witnesses.[More...]

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Judge Excludes Drug Tests in Barry Bonds Case

Good news for Barry Bonds today: The UA's and doping calendars won't be allowed at trial.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said the urine samples that tested positive for steroids are inadmissible because prosecutors cannot prove conclusively that they belong to Bonds. The judge also barred prosecutors from showing jurors so-called doping calendars that Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, allegedly maintained for the slugger.

The judge said prosecutors need direct testimony from Anderson to introduce such evidence. Anderson's attorney said the trainer will refuse to testify at Bonds' trial even though he is likely to be sent to prison on contempt of court charges.

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Barry Bonds and Perjury

It's the cover-up that always gets them. Baseball giant Barry Bonds was indicted yesterday on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice.

In the indictment, federal prosecutors said Bonds lied when he denied (to the grand jury)using a long list of banned drugs, including steroids, testosterone, human growth hormone and "the clear," the undetectable designer steroid marketed by BALCO.

....Bonds also lied when he testified that his longtime personal trainer, Greg Anderson, had never injected him with drugs, the government contended. The trainer, who was imprisoned for contempt of court after he refused to testify against Bonds, was freed Thursday night, hours after Bonds' indictment was unsealed.

Interestingly, Anderson never flipped. He did three months on his own steroid-related case and a year on the contempt charge for refusing to give up Bonds. Because the grand jury concluded and there was no longer any need for him to testify, the Judge let him out.

Bonds has grown a bit since he entered baseball. [More...]

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