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Barry Bonds appeals his conviction

May 4, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

Barry Bonds Convicted Of One Count Of Obstruction Of Justice Getty Images

Barry Bonds lawyers filed a 60-page brief yesterday, appealing his obstruction of justice conviction.  The heart of it is basically something we’ve noted here all along: that it’s pretty weird to convict someone for not answering a question when they actually, you know, answered the question:

“Any competent English speaker would understand Mr. Bonds’s initial statement as answering the question in the negative,” Riordan wrote. “Mr. Bonds was no more guilty of obstruction than he would have been if, having answered one prosecutorial question, he chatted with grand jurors about the weather while the prosecutor was formulating his next one.”

Riordan further argued that the prosecutors questioning Bonds before the grand jury had a “legal obligation to clarify unresponsive testimony.” Riordan contends the prosecutors should have repeated the question until Bonds answered directly.

And he’s absolutely right about that duty-of-prosecutors to clarify thing by the way.  But even if he isn’t, it’s worth noting that Bonds did actually answer the question that the prosecutors and the jury somehow concluded (at least temporarily) that he did not answer:


That “no” at the end responds to the very question the indictment against Bonds and the subsequent conviction says he didn’t answer.  I tend to think it was a lie, but the jury didn’t, so that’s neither here nor there.

But hey, details. Bonds was a dirty cheater, so we should not expect the evidence in a criminal proceeding against him to matter any.

  1. shaggylocks - May 4, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    One of the things I truly appreciate about this site is the insight into baseball’s legal proceedings from someone who actually has legal training. So thanks for that, Craig.

    • shaggylocks - May 4, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      It makes me feel that much smarter when I argue about Andy Pettite and Barry Bonds with my friends.

  2. darthicarus - May 4, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Oh how I wait for the day when I don’t have to read about Barry Bonds anymore

    • heynerdlinger - May 4, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      That day is today. Consider it a gift from the Lord who commands you to stop reading articles that you don’t care about.

  3. ezthinking - May 4, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Now the gov’t will be in the difficult spot whether to cross-appeal or risk losing the whole case. Either way, the prosecutors will look like asses if they spend more money and lose or spend more money and win.

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 4, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Perhaps the jury found that Bonds’ big ol’ head obstructed their view of the statue of the blindfolded lady holding the scales.

    That would seem to make more sense than reading their verdict in the traditional way.

    • dexterismyhero - May 4, 2012 at 1:02 PM


      didn’t his feet grow a size and half during this time also?

  5. tuftsb - May 4, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Having a lawyer tell you that you are not clear in what you say is high on the unintentional comedy scale, Craig.

  6. Jonny 5 - May 4, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Hasn’t he already served his time for this as well? Besides wiping his slate clean, what would be the benefit of throwing more money at the case purely from a Barry B perspective?

  7. skids003 - May 4, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Craig, why don’t you write an article and enlighten us on this from your barrister standpoint. I think it would be quite interesting.

    • tuftsb - May 4, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      old habits die hard – Craig will write a brief and collectively charge us at least $ 500/hour….

  8. WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 4, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    60 pages is hardly brief!

  9. ltzep75 - May 4, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Pedro Gomez has never denied performing surgery on BB.

    /that’s how it goes, right?

  10. atworkident - May 4, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    He just wants the judicial system to operate ala Ryan Braun.

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