Fed­eral author­i­ties end pros­e­cu­tion of Barry Bonds

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY PAUL ELIAS

The U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice on Tues­day for­mally dropped its crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion of Barry Bonds, Ma­jor League Base­ball’s ca­reer home run leader.

The decade-long in­ves­ti­ga­tion and pros­e­cu­tion of Bonds for ob­struc­tion of jus­tice ended qui­etly with the DOJ’s one-para­graph court fil­ing an­nounc­ing it would not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to con­sider a lower court’s re­ver­sal of his felony con­vic­tion.

A jury con­victed Bonds in 2011 of ob­struc­tion of jus­tice for giv­ing a me­an­der­ing an­swer to a fed­eral grand jury when asked about in­jec­tions. A fed­eral ap­peals court over­turned that con­vic­tion in April.

The DOJ could have asked the high court to take the case. In­stead, the DOJ said the re­ver­sal of Bonds’ con­vic­tion would stand.

Bonds at­tor­ney Dennis Rior­dan de­cline com­ment early Tues­day, say­ing he needed to speak with his client be­fore dis­cussing the case pub­licly.

Ma­jor League Base­ball had no im­me­di­ate com­ment on the Jus­tice Depart­ment de­ci­sion.

The U.S. At­tor­ney’s of­fice in San Fran­cisco didn’t re­spond im­me­di­ately to a phone call seek­ing com­ment. The San Fran­cisco of­fice ob­tained an in­dict­ment of Bonds in 2007, charg­ing him with ly­ing to a fed­eral grand jury about per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing drug use.

A jury con­victed him of ob­struct­ing jus­tice be­cause of the an­swer he gave when he was asked if his per­sonal trainer Greg An­der­son ever in­jected him with steroids.

“That’s what keeps our friend­ship,” Bonds replied. “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.”

The 9th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals in April said that an­swer didn’t amount to ob­struc­tion.

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