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Tag: Barry Bonds

Justice Department is Dropping Its Battle Against Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds/facebook

Barry Bonds/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After a long, drawn out legal battle with former baseball slugger Barry Bonds, the Justice Department is waving the white flag.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Justice Department announced Tuesday that it was not going to challenge the reversal of Bonds’ 2011 felony conviction that he obstructed justice when he gave a grand jury a long, evasive answer in 2003 when asked if personal trainer Greg Anderson ever injected him with steroids.

Bonds served his sentence, 30 days of home confinement, while he awaited his appeal. In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 10-1 to reverse his conviction.

The Justice Department was left with the option of appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, which was probably unlikely to hear the case.

To read more click here.

Court of Appeals Grills Justice Department Over Handling of Barry Bonds’ Steroids Case

Barry Bonds/facebook

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s attempt to maintain a criminal conviction against retired baseball slugger Barry Bonds is a swing and miss, several U.S. appeals court judges ruled.

Reuters reports that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had serious doubts that Bonds’ testimony about steroids amounted to a crime.

“I find your reading of the statute absolutely alarming,” Judge William Fletcher told the government.

Bonds testified in 2003 under a grant of immunity that he did not use performance-enhancing drugs.

The judges expressed serious doubts that Bonds committed a crime.

In April 2011, the slugger was convicted of one obstruction charge, while the jury couldn’t reach a verdict on three perjury charges.

Barry Bonds Gets 30 Days of House Arrest in Illegal Steroid Case

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

One time baseball slugger Barry Bonds was sentenced Friday in San Francisco federal court to 30 days of house arrest, two years probation and a $4,000 fine for his obstruction of justice conviction in 2003 tied to his testimony to a grand jury probing illegal steroid use, CNN reported.

The network reported that Bond was to remain free pending his appeal.

CNN reported that fed prosecutors had recommended in a sentencing memo that Bonds, 47, serve 15 months in prison.

To read more click here.

Fed Prosecutors Drop Remaining Charges Against Barry Bonds

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Baseball slugger Barry Bonds got a little good news even though he faces sentencing Dec. 16 for an obstruction of justice conviction in San Francisco.

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday dropped the remaining three charges of making false statement, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The jury had deadlocked on those charges in April, opening the door for the prosecution to consider a retrial.

The Times reported that prosecutors dropped the charges days after a judge upheld the obstruction of justice conviction.

 

Breaking News: Baseball Slugger Barry Bonds Convicted of Obstruction of Justice: Jury Deadlocks on Other 3 Counts

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal jury in San Francisco convicted baseball legend Barry Bonds on Wednesday afternoon of one count of obstruction of justice, MSNBC reported.

The jury deadlocked on the other  three counts of perjury involving allegations that  he lied to a grand jury in 2003 about his use of steroids and human growth hormones, the station reported.

MSNBC reported that Bonds sat stone-faced while the verdict was read.

Column: Barry Bonds Fed Trial About “America’s Discomfort With Prominent, Powerful, Wealthy Black Men”

Editors Note: The jury in the Bond’s case begins its fourth day of deliberations on Wednesday. He faces charges of making false statements to a grand jury about steroid use and obstruction of justice.

By WILLIAM C. RHODEN
The New York Times

The trial of Barry Bonds has always been more than a simple case of pursuing a bad guy and proving that he lied. The chase and the subsequent trial have been as much about a baseball era driven by vanity and greed, and fueled by performance-enhancing drugs.

But the eight-year pursuit of Bonds also reflects America’s discomfort with prominent, powerful, wealthy black men.

That might seem like an incredible statement to make in a nation that elected Barack Obama as its first black president. But Obama, who has had his citizenship questioned and has been heckled by a member of Congress, has a place among men including Jack Johnson, Paul Robeson, Muhammad Ali and Bonds.

In good conscience one could never put Bonds on par with Ali or Robeson and certainly not with the president of the United States.

Bonds’s historical antecedent is Jack Johnson, who became the first black heavyweight champion in 1908.

Johnson lived a fast, unapologetic lifestyle. He incensed some blacks and enraged many whites by openly keeping company exclusively with white prostitutes and marrying at least one.

To read more click here.

Ex-FBI Agent Responds to Column

Greg Stejskal served as an FBI agent for 31 years and retired as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor office. He writes a column for ticklethewire.com. Stejskal sent this response to William Rhoden and shared it with ticklethewire.com. The response below by Alan Gershel was also sent to Rhoden and shared with ticklethewire.com.

The author (right) Greg Stejskal and University of Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

By Greg Stejskal

I generally agree with your premise about the prosecution of Barry Bonds as a misuse of money, but I think it’s a bit of a stretch to compare the Bonds prosecution to that of Jack Johnson.

If Bonds did lie to the Grand Jury, it is a felony and arguably the Grand Jury process would not be viable if witnesses were allowed to lie under oath with impunity.

There is precedent for such prosecutions of perjury in similar circumstances. In the Michigan Fab 5 case, only Chris Webber, of all the University of Michigan players who testified, lied about having received money from Eddie Martin. Those that admitted having received the money were not prosecuted. Webber was prosecuted for perjury and he ultimately pleaded to a felony.

In the FBI steroid case (Equine) I was involved in, we did not pursue users no matter whether they were high-profile athletes. We focused only on the dealers, but at the culmination of the case in 1994, I warned MLB (Major League Baseball) about the problem and was ignored.

I’ve often wondered if we shouldn’t have prosecuted some of the athletes. In the long run it might have avoided some of these problems.

I wrote a piece about why Roger Clemens should be prosecuted. Despite what you say about that prosecution being forced on the Department of Justice, I think the arguments I make apply to both cases.   (Here’s a column I wrote on the steroid problem and Clemens)

Ex-Federal Prosecutor Alan Gershel Also Responds

Alan Gershel worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for nearly 30 years, and was chief of the Criminal Division from 1989 to 2008. He is currently a full-time professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills, Mi.

Alan Gershel/cooley law school photo

By Alan Gershel

Dear Mr. Rhoden: as a former federal prosecutor, I read your article regarding the prosecution of Barry Bonds with great interest. You have stated that Barry Bonds was prosecuted for his “unlikability” and that the government’s effort”was a colossal misuse of time and money…”

You also seem to suggest that protecting a grand jury investigation is an “altruistic goal” not worth pursuing. I respectfully disagree. The prosecution of Barry Bonds is eminently justifiable.

A grand jury investigation is a search for the truth. Its success depends almost entirely on witnesses, who have been placed under oath and who are advised of the consequences should they fail to do so, telling the

truth. Perjurious testimony is an anathema to a search for the truth.

I am assuming we can agree that the nature and scope of the government’s investigation was a serious and legitimate one. If you do concur, then witnesses who may have information regarding the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball are legitimate witnesses. Once called and placed under oath, they cannot intentionally lie with impunity.This is what the prosecution is about.

It is not about the personality or race of Mr. Bonds. To have ignored his alleged false testimony, would have been giving Mr. Bonds favorable treatment because of his celebrity or the government’s fear of controversy. An unacceptable result, assuming there was sufficient evidence to prosecute.

Finally, an important deterrent message flows from a case of this nature that hopefully will have an impact on future investigations.

Barry Bonds’ Ex-Girlfriend Delivers a Punch for the Prosecution

Kimberly Bell/fox news

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

As days go, Monday was not Barry Bonds’ best one.

His ex-girlfriend Kimberly Bell testified in U.S. District Court in San Francisco that the former baseball slugger for the San Francisco Giants told her he used steroids but “didn’t shoot it up everyday like bodybuilders did,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Bonds is charged with lying about his steroid use while testifying before a federal grand jury.

Bell also testified that Bonds blamed a career-threatening elbow injury in 1999 to the use of steroids, the paper reported.

The drugs “somehow caused the muscles and tendons to grow faster than they could handle and (the elbow) somehow blew out,” Bell testified, according to the Chronicle.

She testified that after taking steroids Bonds became increasingly angry and controlling and muscular and “developed acne on his upper shoulders and back,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “His hair was falling out quickly, and he ended up shaving it all off.”

She testified that his testicles changed shape and shrunk.

The defense went after her during the cross examination, trying to portray her as a jilted lover who tried to profit from the relationship. She posed nude in Playboy and pitched a book about Bonds, the Chronicle reported.

Column: Fed Prosecutors Wasting Time Making a Criminal of Barry Bonds

By Sally Jenkins
Washington Post Columnist

Barry Bonds is a lot of things, leading off with obnoxious, but he doesn’t meet my definition of a criminal.

There is a growing school of legal thought that says we have a dangerous tendency to “overcriminalize,” using criminal law to try to solve every single social problem in America. Some things are mistakes and not crimes. And some people are jerks, but not jail-worthy.

Just because Bonds used steroids, and might be unethical or morally blameworthy, doesn’t mean he deserves to be hounded by prosecutors for almost a decade. Criminal law should be reserved for our very worst offenders, and to use it on anyone else doesn’t actually strengthen respect for the law, but weakens it.

To read full column click here.