After four days of deliberating over whether or not former baseball great Barry Bonds lied about his use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, the jury could not reach agreement on a number of charges the government made against Bonds.
But the feds nailed him on the obstruction of justice count. From ESPN:
The guilty verdict on obstruction of justice means the jury believed Bonds hindered a grand jury’s 2003 sports doping investigation by lying.
The judge, after speaking to the jury foreman, said she believes the mistrial is the proper decision given that the jury believes it has reached a crossroads.
Below are some instant reactions….
The defense intends to fight this verdict, according to ESPN’s Mark Fainaru-Wada, who is tweeting about the case from the courtroom.
USA Today has a fun quote from Victor Conte, the BALCO founder:
“This verdict absolutely makes no sense to me,” he said, minutes after the verdict was announced. “Of all of these counts, the one that makes the least sense to me is the obstruction charge. Tell me how there was obstruction of justice.”
Umm, because obstruction was easier to prove than lying to a grand jury? Isn’t “obstruction” basically saying “we can’t prove he knowingly lied, but he’s a big time jerkhat, so screw him”?
In any event, Roger Clemens, you’re next, you raging, blister-having, bat-throwing bully.
Barry Bonds found guilty of obstruction [ESPN]
Barry Bonds found guilty of obstruction of justice [USA Today]
Jury Finds Bonds Guilty on One Count [WSJ Law Blog]