Barry Bonds was sentenced and ordered to serve 30 days under house arrest, with two years of probation and must also perform 250 hours of community service for his crime of obstruction of justice. That’s in the books but the former MLB slugger won’t serve or perform a moment of that sentence because he is still appealing his conviction of the crime.
Federal Judge Susan Ilston issued the judgment she used when sentencing others who came before her on charges they committed obstruction of justice and/or perjury during the course of the BALCO investigation in the early part of the previous decade. Although Marion Jones was convicted of perjury and served time in the BALCO matter it was in another judge’s court on the east coast, not Judge Ilston. It was folded in with her crimes related to covering up a check scheme in conjunction with her live-in boyfriend.
Despite prosecutors requesting for Bonds to serve 15 months in prison, Bonds gets to retire to his mansion for a month if his appeal is not granted. It’s been almost a decade since Bonds and others were given immunity from prosecution if they testified truthfully about their use, purchase or sale and distribution of performance enhancing drugs from or in concert with the BALCO labs and Victor Conte, of BALCO.
Ilston has presided over each case that arose out of the investigation, including those that went to trial or ended in plea bargains in the past. In every case where the only charges against the defendant was perjury or obstruction for his or her testimony in front of the grand jury, Ilston imposed no jail time after a guilty verdict.
Barry Bonds was never going to jail, despite all the media hype surrounding his trial. Bonds was tried in April this year on multiple counts of perjury and one count of obstruction, but the jury deadlocked on all other charges but the one.
During the trial, Bonds was forced to deal with hearing some embarrassing testimony like the one in the link below:
While the BALCO grand jury cases involving MLB players are now concluded, there is one remaining open case related to MLB players and steroids/HGH use – that of pitcher Roger Clemens who may be appearing in court.
He was granted a mistrial in August when prosecutors disobeyed clear orders of a judge not to speak in front of the jury about a theory and witnesses they intended to present at the trial. The information had been ruled inadmissible.
Clemens was indicted for lying to Congress during testimony that related to the MLB investigation of the BALCO matter. His former trainer Brian McNamee testified that he injected the pitcher with HGH on multiple occasions, all of which was denied by Clemens. Here is a link to that mistrial:
Bonds still denies he ever took a PED and his acquittal on the perjury charges buttresses that position. The damaging testimony of some eye witnesses other than Anderson is still out there for the public to read, but the jury didn’t find them credible enough to side with them against Bonds.
Used with permission of the author.
Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.
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