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Deep Thought: Barry Bonds verdict edition

Apr 13, 2011, 6:14 PM EDT

Closing Arguments Delivered In Barry Bonds Trial Getty Images

Still thinking about that verdict. And it still makes little sense to me. Seems like the jury just wanted to compromise on something, so compromise they did. Hey, I think we have the best legal system in the world, but I never said it was perfect.

And just to be clear to those of you who accuse me of being a Bonds apologist: I’d actually be happier right now if Bonds was convicted of the perjury charge of lying about the syringe along with the obstruction charge. That would at least be logical. Oh well.  After all of these years we have a verdict that basically says “Bonds was kind of a difficult witness.”  Because the legal system has never seen one of those before.

Here’s a deep thought: how many newspapers and websites who report this tonight and into tomorrow will use the following headline: “Government fails to prove its steroids charges against Barry Bonds.” I’m guessing not many. Though it would be an utter hoot.

  1. easports82 - Apr 13, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    Quick sampling of Google News (which already has this as the top story) finds the headlines are all leading with him being guilty, most are including that is obstruction. This is my favorite, misleading headline so far: “Barry Bonds Found Guilty in Federal Steroids Probe Trial” courtesy of Bloomberg news

  2. mgflolox - Apr 13, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    Is it possible for the judge dismiss the conviction based on faulty reasoning by the jury?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 13, 2011 at 6:34 PM

      Not sure if it’s possible, but it’s extremely unlikely. The burden to set a jury verdict aside is high. There were other cases in the BALCO investigation (i.e. Tammy Thomas case) in which similar strange results were reached. They stood up.

  3. metalhead65 - Apr 13, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    at least they found him guilty of something to bad he will never serve any jail time. he will appeal it for years and in the end be put on double secret probation.

  4. Old Gator - Apr 13, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    Based on the couple of times I’ve served on juries, this sounds a lot like “I’m sick and tired of arguing about this and I want to go home; can we agree on anything he’s guilty of so we can wrap this thing and go get a good steak someplace?” verdict.

  5. Jonny 5 - Apr 13, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    All we can do now is pray to the gods of injustice and all things taxable that his sentence is weak enough so that it isn’t worth appealing.

    • Old Gator - Apr 14, 2011 at 12:38 AM

      Oh boy, do I ever agree with that. I hope we’re on the edge of the last of it. I don’t want my popcorn getting stale while we wait for the Clemens and Wilpon/Picard trials.

      Speaking of trials and balls, you think Roger Clemens might be swallowing his after seeing Bonds nailed in a case that’s not nearly as strong as the one against him? Here, Roger – take another couple of these. They’ll help you sleep.

  6. purdueman - Apr 14, 2011 at 4:01 AM

    Seeing Bonds’ head the size of a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade blow up float makes me ill as to how Giant fans have given this creep a hall pass all these years. I’m thrilled with even ONE conviction, because it now labels this creep as being a liar and a convicted felon. Jail time, court fines and/or anything else don’t matter; the dude’s guilty and a jury of his peers have convicted him!

    HOF? NO WAY!

  7. benngeli - Apr 14, 2011 at 5:06 AM

    The verdict makes perfect sense. The prosecutors convinced the jury that Bonds had lied, but failed to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. So the jury hung on the three counts of lying and found him guilty of “knowingly giving material testimony that was intentionally evasive.”

    If this had been a civil case, with a lower standard of proof, it’s likely that the jury would have found Bonds guilty on all four counts.

    • tommygx - Apr 15, 2011 at 3:50 PM

      Guilty until proven innocent?

      In the end, the trial proved that not one piece of evidence concerning Bonds and steroids. Even the speculatory stuff was debunked. In fact, the only thing the prosecution brought that wasn’t exposed as a lie or evidence the prosecution made up didn’t even have anything to do with steroids, and that was Kathy Hoskins unbased testimony that she saw Bonds being injected by somebody other than his doctor.

      • purdueman - Apr 15, 2011 at 4:09 PM

        According to ESPN radio yesterday, the jury hung 11-1 in favor of conviction on one of the perjury counts with the 1 dissenter discrediting Hoskins testimony. That doesn’t exactly sound to me like Bonds won anything but the additional public scorn and disgrace that he so richly has earned and deserves.

        What people who whine about this trial being a waste of public money is that US law is largely based on precedent from rulings of similar prior cases. The government IMO had no choice but to prosecute and hope that they could at least get one conviction (which they did), so as to send a powerful message that you can’t lie to Congress and then (in essence), thumb your nose afterwards when you do.

        As for Barroid? His Dad Bobby was a hard core alcoholic and as a result died at an early age (in his mid-50’s as I recall). Genetics are not on Barroids side. If you look at his stats and pictures on his baseball cards from year to year (where he went from being a trim but somewhat lanky kid in Pittsburgh to a moose with a bulbous cartoonish sized head in San Francisco), it’s likely that he tried and used all kinds of PED’s for at least a 6-7 year period.

        Bottom line? He may have gotten and besmirched baseballs most cherished home run records, but I bet it winds up shaving 20 years off of his life. Barroid is a pathetic, tragic figure; certainly not a hero.

      • tommygx - Apr 15, 2011 at 5:22 PM

        Umm, they got no convictions. Defense is not done easily having the BS ridiculous illogical verdict for this ticky tack count dropped:

        http://abovethelaw.com/2011/04/espn-legal-analyst-does-disservice-to-all-mankind/

        Bonds “obstructed” justice because he said he was a celebrity child? Seriously?

        http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/04/13/breaking-barry-bonds-guilty-of-obstruction-of-justice-but-not-perjury-which-makes-no-sense-at-all/

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