Is Barry Bonds guilty? Of what? That has been the hot question Wednesday after the jury came back with news of a verdict
After starting deliberations on Friday, the jury of 4 men and 8 women convicted Barry Bonds of obstruction of justice.
They deadlocked on related charges of perjury. That means there could be a second Barry Bonds trial if the prosecutors want to retry him.
We here at Tarnished Twenty, along with the rest of the media, spent a chunk of time positing different outcomes, arguments and strategies relating to Bonds' perjury charges, but little attention was given to the fourth count of obstruction of justice.
The fact that the jury convicted Barry Bonds of obstruction of justice and not of perjury is a strange turn of events. It leaves a lot of questions at this point: will Bonds' guilty verdict affect his chances at the baseball Hall of Fame, for instance?
The grand jury indicted Bonds on the obstruction of justice charge because of his alleged lies, specifically stating that he obstructed justice by being "intentionally evasive, false and misleading" in his testimony.
It's hard to understand how the jury could have convicted Barry Bonds of obstruction when it couldn't decide whether he was "false and misleading" when answering questions in front of the grand jury.
The only conclusion is that the jury found Barry Bonds guilty because he was evasive and rambling while testifying before the grand jury.
This may bode well for Bonds when it comes to sentencing--it's hard to believe that evasiveness will translate into much of a prison sentence (if there even is one). Home confinement may be on the table for Bonds, for instance.
As of now, the judge has dismissed the jury, and has declared a mistrial on the perjury charges. A hearing has been set for next month, and one should expect the defense to request that the judge set aside the verdict given the outcome of the perjury charges.
- Bonds Guilty of Obstruction of Justice (New York Times)
- Obstruction of Justice (FindLaw)
- Barry Bonds' Defense Rests Without Calling Any Witnesses (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)
- Barry Bonds Girlfriend Spares No Detail: Testicle Shrinkage (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)