Prosecutors Seek 15-Month Prison Term for Barry Bonds

Baseball’s home-run king was found guilty in April of obstructing a federal grand jury during sports steroid investigation.


Posted: 12/09/2011 06:17 PM EST
Barry Bonds

Despite recommendations for a more lenient punishment, federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds to a 15-month prison term.
According to the Associated Press, prosecutors objected in court papers Thursday to a probation officer’s recommendation that Bonds only receive probation when he is sentenced Dec. 16 on obstruction of justice charges. The prosecutors are pushing for prison time while Bonds's lawyers are arguing that none of the other figures convicted of lying in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) steroid investigation received a similarly harsh sentence. However, Marion Jones, the former Olympic gold medalist, was sentenced to six months in prison in 2008 for lying to federal investigators about steroid use.
Bonds, 47, was convicted in April of obstructing a grand jury’s investigation into sports doping by continuing to give evasive answers when it came to the BALCO steroid scandal of 2003, according to AP. Bonds has long contended he did not take performance enhancing drugs despite evidence that has always seemed to incriminate him. The conviction can carry a prison sentence of between 15 and 21 months.
"Bonds's actions were the product of a calculated plan to obfuscate and distract the grand jury from its role in getting to the truth in the BALCO inquiry," prosecutors wrote.

The probation officer also recommended that in addition to probation Bonds be required to wear some type of monitoring device. Bonds’s lawyers are objecting to such a restriction but might be inclined to accept that if it means Bonds doesn’t have to do time behind prison walls.
Contact Terrance Harris at or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris.

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