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December 15, 2011

Any predictions (or suggestions) for tomorrow's sentencing of Barry Bonds?

Another high-profile federal white-collar sentencing is scheduled for tomorrow, this time in the case of US v. Bonds.  What one should expect could vary depending on which of these two new media stories are reviewed:

Not surprisingly, each article linked here includes a quote from an expert explaining why Bonds very well might, and why Bonds likely will not, get a federal prison term at his sentencing before US District Judge Susan Illston.

Here is one (legally irrelevant?) wrinkle that perhaps adds some extra intrigue into the proceedings: I think the sentence Bonds received might impact not only whether he appeals his conviction, but also his chances for success on appeal.  Ultimately, I expect Bonds will appeal his conviction even if he were to get a very lenient sentences of, say, one year of probation; and if he gets any serious prison time, it would seem to be a near given that he would appeal (and be able to be free pending his appeal, too).  But if he only gets a year of probabtion and he has completed that sentence by the time of his appeal is fully briefed, the real stakes of the outcome of that appeal are much less than if he gets, say, the 15 months of prison sought by prosecutors and that term is still hanging over Bonds' head when his appeal is being considered.  (Of course, these kinds of real-world sentencing consequences should not be germane to the trial issues that Bonds would likely be raising on appeal; and yet, I often suspect that these kinds of real-world sentencing consequences are sometimes hard for appellate courts to completely disregard.)

A few related posts:

December 15, 2011 at 05:28 PM | Permalink


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