The case against Barry Bonds has always been a tough one. For one, the key witness, his trainer, has refused to testify in trial. And two, the judge recently ruled that positive steroid tests were not admissible as evidence. The two developments have been a recipe for disaster for the assistant U.S. Attorneys, who are appealing the ruling. Jury selection was supposed to begin today (March 2), but there’s been a delay. Some speculate this case could just vanish, leaving the big slugger with the home run of his life.
Prosecutors applied a rarely used maneuver Friday that delayed the start of Barry Bonds’ trial on perjury and obstruction charges for several months – if it ever takes place.
“I think they’re going to abandon their case,” said Peter Keane, dean emeritus of the Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco. “I think you’ll see them dancing away from it. They’re going to wait for the case to get gray in the beard, and then they’re going to quietly dump it.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office notified the court that it was going to appeal Judge Susan Illston’s Feb. 19 ruling to exclude much of the evidence collected in the BALCO raids from 2003, including three of Bonds’ allegedly positive steroid tests between 2000 and 2001, along with doping calendars that detailed how Bonds was supposed to use banned substances.
Minus that evidence, prosecutors would have a more difficult time proving that Bonds knowingly used steroids, the key element of the case.
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