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August 30, 2011

Barry Bonds' federal sentencing now set for December

As detailed in this MLB.com report, a "sentencing date of Dec. 16 has been set for Barry Bonds, whose conviction for obstruction of justice was upheld in federal court last week."  Here is more background:

A seven-time Most Valuable Player who set the single-season and career home run records during his 22-year career, Bonds was convicted of obstruction but the jury could not come to a consensus on any of three counts of making false declarations.  The charges were based on Bonds' 2003 testimony before the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) grand jury, in which he denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs.

According to the indictment against Bonds, the maximum penalty for the obstruction charge is "10 years maximum imprisonment, $250,000 fine, three years supervised release, $100 special assessment fee."  But federal sentencing guidelines reportedly suggest 15-21 months, and previous BALCO sentences suggest Bonds could be given house arrest.

Illston, who has presided over the cases brought by the BALCO investigation, previously sentenced cyclist Tammy Thomas to six months of home confinement and track coach Trevor Graham to one year of home confinement.  Thomas was convicted of three counts of making false statements and one count of obstructing justice but was acquitted of two perjury charges.  Graham was convicted of one count of giving false statements, and the jury deadlocked on two other charges.

Illston ruled Friday that the record showed Bonds "endeavored to obstruct the grand jury" when he rambled and talked about friendship, fishing and being a "celebrity child" when asked whether trainer Greg Anderson ever had injected him with anything.  The defense still could appeal the conviction.

The government has yet to announce whether it will retry any of the charges that wound up in a hung jury.  While two wound up in favor of acquittal, according to jurors, Count Two -- also relating to whether Bonds received injections from Anderson -- was 11-1 in favor of conviction.

I am going to mark the December 16 date on my calendar in pencil; these high-profile sentencings have a tendency to get postponed for various reasons.  But I am already looking forward to seeing how the parties seek to apply 3553(a) to Bonds in their sentencing submissions. 

Related recent Bonds posts:

August 30, 2011 at 06:36 PM | Permalink

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I know I feel safer!

Posted by: Ala JD | Aug 31, 2011 11:01:30 AM

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