Prosecution Strikes Out: Barry Bonds Goes Free
The long-running saga of Barry Bonds' criminal case has come to an end. On April 22, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit overturned Bonds' obstruction of justice conviction. To recap, Bonds was called as a witness before the federal grand jury investigating BALCO Laboratories, and was given immunity. The Government decided that Bonds had lied in his testimony and charged him with making false statements and obstruction of justice. The jury convicted Bonds only of obstruction of justice, based on one statement. In response to the question, "Did Greg [his trainer] ever give you anything that required a syringe to inject yourself with?", Bonds gave a rambling, non-responsive answer. The appeals court held that a non-responsive answer could not be the basis for an obstruction of justice prosecution. It reversed Bonds' conviction and ordered that he could not be tried again on that count.