FanDuel - WFBC

April 13, 2011

Bonds guilty on one count...: But mistrial on the other three.

posted by Bonkers to baseball at 06:03 PM - 18 comments

I'll be VERY surprised if this stands up to appeal. Hell, I'm expecting the judge (on May 20th) to throw out the conviction.

How the f*ck can someone be convicted of obstruction of justice, if he was not found guilty of the actions that pertain to the act of "obstructing"?

If he can't be found guilty of perjury (on any of the remaining counts), then what is it he did that was "obstructing justice"?

Someone explain that to me.

Seriously.

posted by grum@work at 06:53 PM on April 13

Tweets from Mark Fainaru-Wada explain the counts:

5 jurors spoke to media: message, knew he took steroids, but not proof that he knew what he was taking.
3 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry

At #Bondstrial, guilty on Count 4, obstruction of justice. 1 Juror: 'he was evasive throughout his testimony.'
4 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry

At #Bondstrial, jurors deadlocked 9-3 to acquit on Count 3, denied got HGH from Greg Anderson
5 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry

At #Bondstrial, jurors deadlocked 11-1 to convict on count 2, denied anyone other than docs injected him
6 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry

At #Bondstrial jurors deadlocked 8-4 to acquit on count 1, denied knowingly got steroids from Anderson.
7 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry

posted by grum@work at 06:54 PM on April 13

Final comment, before I go watch some hockey.
From Craig Calcaterra, at Hardball Talk

UPDATE: More mystery. It's being reported that the basis of the obstruction conviction was the jury finding that Bonds obstructed justice with respect to his "Statement C" as listed in Count 5. The underlined part of the following is "Statement C"

...

That's what keeps our friendship. You know, I am sorry, but that you know, that I was a celebrity child, not just in baseball by my own instincts. I became a celebrity child with a famous father. I just don't get into other people's business because of my father's situation, you see

...

So: Bonds saying that he was a "celebrity child" who didn't get into anyone's business obstructed justice and brought down a prosecution over seven years in the making.
You cool with that?

posted by grum@work at 07:00 PM on April 13

So, will the government spend waste how many more millions of dollars in a re-trial?

posted by graymatters at 07:12 PM on April 13

I'm with you, grum. This makes no sense. Obstruction of justice for rambling on like that. Who knows though? The judge let that instruction go to the jury, so she mus have thought it had merit.

posted by bperk at 07:17 PM on April 13

This whole thing is a ridiculus attempt by the Goverment to cover the real problems our nation is facing. I think who ever brought this to trial are the real criminals.The people have spoke. Quit wasting taxpayers dollars on frivolous crap like this . I would actually like to see a dollar cost on how much this B.S. Has cost the american taxpayers

posted by dakotadude at 07:52 PM on April 13

What was the government trying to prove in even going ahead with this case? Pretending that it could convict even though the main witness refused to testify? Everything I read said the government did not even have a case without Anderson. The jury certainly confirmed that.

posted by roberts at 08:11 PM on April 13

This whole thing is a ridiculus attempt by the Goverment to cover the real problems our nation is facing.

No it's not.

I would actually like to see a dollar cost on how much this B.S. Has cost the american taxpayers

Whatever it is I'm betting it's .000001 of the national budget. But don't let that keep you from being mad. Grwar!

posted by justgary at 08:15 PM on April 13

No matter how much was spent it is difficult to see what how this is a good use of resources. There are real problems with people not cooperating with grand juries, especially in relation to gang violence. Those charges are never pursued this vigorously. Obviously, this took on greater importance in the government's eyes because of its high profile nature. But, it is worth questioning if it ought to have.

posted by bperk at 08:35 PM on April 13

How the f*ck can someone be convicted of obstruction of justice, if he was not found guilty of the actions that pertain to the act of "obstructing"?

Perjury is lying under oath in a judicial proceeding. Obstruction is lying to criminal investigators. Different crimes.

posted by rcade at 08:47 PM on April 13

While Barry Bond's criminal trial might seem like an awful waste, it is pretty clear that he lied to investigators...is the government supposed to turn the other cheek to it? Who makes that call? When the prosecutor filed the case, I'm sure they figured that Anderson would eventually cave in, and testify. Should the government abandon every case in which a key witness refuses to testify?

From grum's post, it's pretty obvious that the jury was extremely close to conviction on at least one more charge, so I can see how he could be still held guilty for obstruction.

As to this case being an attempt by the government to cover up other problems, not sure how you get to that conclusion. The press gives it a higher profile than what the government did, maybe you ought to be mad at the media. Do any of you that feel this case was without merit really believe that Bonds didn't knowingly use steroids? I think it's ridiculous to think he didn't, and equally ridiculous to think he wasn't aware of what he was taking. So, yes, the case was a waste of time, but Bonds was the one wasting our time, not the prosecutor. If Bonds had just admitted it like A-Rod, and others, this would never have been an issue. Lying under oath, or obstruction are crimes, and sometimes crimes lead to trials, and trials to convictions. Be mad at Barry, not a prosecutor doing their job.

Or, be mad at Selig for letting this issue get so far out of hand that the government got involved in the first place.

posted by dviking at 09:55 PM on April 13

(taking a break before overtime)

While Barry Bond's criminal trial might seem like an awful waste, it is pretty clear that he lied to investigators

Is it? Twelve jurors couldn't convict him of ANY of the perjury charges. What we DID learn is that one of the prosecution's star witnesses admitted to committing perjury in front of the grand jury.

I'll repeat that: A star witness for the prosecution admitted to committing perjury during her testimony in this trial.

...is the government supposed to turn the other cheek to it?

Let's find out how fast they slap perjury charges on Kimberly Bell, and then make a judgement on whether a sense of justice is being applied fairly to everyone.

By the way, was Bonds' statement here good enough to convict for obstruction of justice?

Or, be mad at Selig for letting this issue get so far out of hand that the government got involved in the first place.

I dislike Selig as much as the next person, but he's got nothing to do with this trial. Bonds wasn't put on trial for using steroids while playing the game of baseball. He was put on trial because of his testimony during a grand jury investigation into BALCO.

posted by grum@work at 10:22 PM on April 13

grum, if Selig had taken steps to address the steroid issue in baseball none of this would have ever reached the level of governmental interference. The way Selig handled steroids has everything to do with this case, well, actually, it's more about how Selig didn't handle the steroid issue.

Yeah, one juror held out on one of the counts, but 11-1 tells me that it's pretty clear he lied to the investigators. You're free to believe that he's 100% innocent, I won't join you in that, as I think it's pretty clear he used steroids often and with clear knowledge of what he was doing.

posted by dviking at 11:50 PM on April 13

grum, if Selig had taken steps to address the steroid issue in baseball none of this would have ever reached the level of governmental interference.

The "governmental interference" in this case is them going after the dealer of the drugs (BALCO). The BALCO case involved more than just a couple of baseball players (remember all those Olympic athletes that were involved?). The government hasn't actually done anything to MLB except put on those show-trial/Congressional hearings. They've enacted zero laws that pertain to MLB. There have been no financial penalties or government restrictions applied to MLB. I'm not sure why you insist on thinking that the government has done anything to affect baseball.

Yeah, one juror held out on one of the counts, but 11-1 tells me that it's pretty clear he lied to the investigators.

I'm guessing you haven't watched "12 Angry Men"?

;)

It's not "clear" at all. The other counts showed the jury overwhelmingly believed that Bonds didn't commit perjury. The one count they actually had a majority in favour of guilty is the one with the weakest evidence: a single eye-witness who has a reason to dislike Bonds. What makes it more amazing is that the incident she talked about is the only time anything like that had EVER happened, as they couldn't find any other witnesses to even suggest it happened at any other time. Not a single fellow player or associate was brought forth to corroborate her testimony for that count of perjury. Somehow, she was the chosen lucky person to view that single incident.

For the record, before someone comes after me, it's already been proven in the original grand jury trial (and the illegally-leaked testimony) that Bonds took "the cream" and "the clear", and it was later shown to be substances that were deemed illegal at a later date. So no, I am not saying that Bonds didn't take anything.

posted by grum@work at 12:43 AM on April 14

In short, they found Bonds guilty of rambling, of dancing around a question, of being (for anyone who has ever interviewed him can attest) Barry Lamar Bonds.

George Dohrmann, S.I.

posted by grum@work at 12:56 AM on April 14

Perjury is lying under oath in a judicial proceeding. Obstruction is lying to criminal investigators. Different crimes.

In this case, the obstruction of justice charge is based on his grand jury testimony. So, they didn't find that Bonds lied, but he evaded or rambled. If the prosecutor at the grand jury didn't think his answer was responsive, he was allowed to ask as many follow-up or clarifying questions as he chose. The question asked was did anyone but a doctor give him a shot, and his answer, though rambling, was no.

posted by bperk at 10:08 AM on April 14

Obstruction is lying to criminal investigators.

So, not answering or rambling in your answer is now considered lying.

All in all, I think the jury gave the prosecution a door prize: here's your conviction, thanks for showing up.

And I sometimes wonder if that is not the real purpose of tying all these little charges together. Throw everything at it and hope something sticks.

posted by graymatters at 10:53 AM on April 14

Throw everything at it and hope something sticks.

Without a doubt that's the point of hitting somebody with multiple charges related to each other. Federal prosecutors play for keeps.

posted by rcade at 12:08 PM on April 14

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