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December 7, 2007

Friday forum: what advice would you give Barry Bonds?

Barrybonds As detailed in this New York Times article, the next official development in the Barry Bonds prosecution takes place this morning.  Here are the basics:

Bonds, major league baseball’s career home run leader, is scheduled to make his first court appearance in the case Friday morning. He is expected to plead not guilty to four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice, charges that stem from the government’s assertion that he lied four years ago when he told a grand jury he did not take steroids or human growth hormone.

In the NYT article, Bonds gets some advice from a local expert: "Peter Keane, a 30-year veteran defense lawyer and dean emeritus at Golden Gate University Law School who has studied the case, said his best advice to Bonds would be for him to stop fighting and start negotiating."  Similarly, in this USA Today piece, has a formal federal prosecutor also suggesting a plea and it notes sentencing prospects: "Keane and [former U.S. attorney] Matt Orwig agree that, even if Bonds accepts a plea bargain instead of going to trial, he's certain to serve time in jail.  Were he to get convicted, Bonds faces up to 30 years in prison, though lawyers say 24 to 36 months is a more likely sentence."

Notably, as this Wall Street Journal report documented, Barry Bonds is not eager to pay top dollar for legal help.  So I thought I would open up a Friday forum for folks to use the comments here to give Barry some free advice.

December 7, 2007 at 08:01 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Oh good grief. Of course Bonds should plea bargain. This is not a level playing field. Kevin Ryan (US Attorney) is talking to the press about Bond's guilt. Prosecutors essentially have Bond's trainer on a leash back to prison if he doesn't testify when and how they tell him to. There will be many others who will testify in order to avoid their own legal troubles. Who knows when Bonds defense team will be able to see all the evidence against him.

No defendant can be in control of his or her legal expenses. Just try to get it over with as quickly as possible.
Beth

Posted by: beth curtis | Dec 7, 2007 8:46:06 AM

How about this: Barry Bonds should tell the truth, no strings attached.

Now admittedly this sort of advice seldom goes over well with those who see it all as a game of manuevers. It's somethng only a bumpkin would think Bonds should do.

But there's another way to look at it. One might see this as a chance for Bonds to turn away from the deceptive and chip-on-the-shoulder attitude he so often displays, and toward a life of openness, honesty and modesty.

Which, in the long run, would a person prefer to be remembered for?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 7, 2007 9:51:26 AM

Barry should fight it. The hell with the plea agreement.
This way he has the option of appealing. So what if you lose 3 points for not pleading guilty. This is his first time and he would be in cat 1.

Posted by: | Dec 7, 2007 9:59:18 AM

He shoud fight he has the power and wealth to fight. Let him go public let him talk about this witchhunt the us attorneys went on. let him bring out in the open the miss use of power by the US attorneys. How come they still not have explained why Greg Anderson was in jail for over a year How did they get bonds without his help if they could have gotten bonds why keep him in jail. I will tell you why you have a department of justice that is out of control and in time the american people will see it and wake up. what they are doing to the legal system thanks to congress in not at all justified. Who helped write the guidelines anyway wasnt it sponsered by Ted Kennedy? If it was he is the last person on the face of the earth that should be discussing the legal system!

Posted by: | Dec 7, 2007 11:26:06 AM

Bonds should go over each statement that they say is perjury and then talk over with his lawyers whether he should take the stand. If he takes the stand he should look the jury in the eye and ask them not to send him to jailand believe him and not the evil government.

Why did the dumb chump testify at all before? Did they give him immunity? People should consider taking the Ninth Amendment as well as the Fifth. Most states have immunity statutes that says a judge can give you immunity but force you to testify if you take the Fifth. Take the Ninth, its a fundamental right and its not in the immunity statutes.

Posted by: M.P. Bastian | Dec 8, 2007 10:27:48 AM

HE should stand up and be a "man" and be honest, he is a self centered igotitstical PUTZ and ruining baseball he's not alone tho I'm sick of these "little tin god" sports figures who actually think they are GOD!!!!!!

Posted by: Granny | Dec 9, 2007 12:10:14 PM

granny, I'm sorry to say but your advice is like putting a stake in a person heart. Being honest in this country is committing suicide.

Posted by: | Dec 9, 2007 6:41:39 PM

granny, I'm sorry to say but your advice is like putting a stake in a person heart. Being honest in this country is committing suicide.

Posted by: | Dec 9, 2007 6:41:57 PM

"granny, I'm sorry to say but your advice is like putting a stake in a person heart. Being honest in this country is committing suicide."

I take it then that you would encourage your children to lie to you, and others? And that you lie to them, and others? Would that include co-workers, clients, the IRS?

There's no doubt that telling the truth can sometimes be adverse to one's self interest. This is why self interest is generally thought not to be as worthy as honesty.

Bill

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 9, 2007 9:21:46 PM

There was a time when being honest was notable and you were forgiven. Now, with the ultra two faced renegade justice system running a muck, making a mistake, let a lone committing perjury to protect oneself is a guarantee road for destruction. I would never condone teaching your child to lie. But when a system is trying to ruin your life, I say the hell with the system. Remember, we talking about overzealous people with prosecutor's power. Whom, incidentally, I believe should be incarcerated.

Posted by: | Dec 10, 2007 10:13:20 AM

There was a time when being honest was notable and you were forgiven. Now, with the ultra two faced renegade justice system running a muck, making a mistake, let a lone committing perjury to protect oneself is a guarantee road for destruction. I would never condone teaching your child to lie. But when a system is trying to ruin your life, I say the hell with the system. Remember, we talking about overzealous people with prosecutor's power. Whom, incidentally, I believe should be incarcerated.

Posted by: | Dec 10, 2007 10:13:36 AM

Nonsense. "Committing perjury," like most crimes, does not consist of "making a mistake." It consists of exercising poor judgment and making the choice to commit a crime, in this case by lying. To hell with the system for trying to ruin Barry Bonds life? Bah! Rather, to hell - or at least to prison - with Barry Bonds. He was offered immunity to tell the truth and he chose to commit perjury.

Posted by: Ben D | Dec 10, 2007 12:05:02 PM

Yes, he was offered immunity to tell the truth (whose truth?) but to do so may have kept him out of jail but his career and record would be ruined.

Posted by: | Dec 10, 2007 3:43:44 PM

And now his career and record are ruined...and he's facing prison time. And all three of those are his own fault - nobody else's. Bonds is worthy of no pity.

Posted by: Ben D | Dec 10, 2007 3:56:48 PM

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