Barry Bonds Sentenced To 2 Years Probation In Obstruction Case

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Home run champion Barry Bonds was spared a prison sentence Friday as a federal judge in San Francisco sentenced him to 30 days of home confinement and two years of probation for obstructing a grand jury probe of steroids distribution.

Bonds, 47, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston to provide 250 hours of community service and pay a $4,000 fine.

PHOTOS: Barry Bonds Sentenced

At the request of defense attorneys, Illston agreed to delay the commencement of the sentence while the former San Francisco Giants outfielder appeals his conviction.

The appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could take a year or more.

Bonds declined to address the court before he was sentenced.

He was convicted by a trial jury in Illston’s court in April of one count of obstructing justice by giving evasive testimony to a federal grand jury on Dec. 4, 2003.

The panel was investigating the sale of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs by the Burlingame-based Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO.

The trial jury concluded Bonds was evasive in 2003 when he gave a rambling answer to a question about whether his trainer, Greg Anderson, had ever given him anything that required a syringe to inject himself with.

KCBS Interviews UC Hastings Professor Rory Little:

Bonds described himself in that answer as the “celebrity child” of a baseball player father and said, “I just don’t get into other people’s business.”

The jury deadlocked on three other charges that Bonds lied to the panel when he said he had never knowingly used steroids or human growth hormone and had never been injected by Anderson. Prosecutors later dismissed those counts.

Illston said Friday the sentencing “should not be about steroid use” and said she was considering only the obstruction conviction.

She said she decided on the sentence because of his lack of a criminal record, his long history of charitable contributions and similar non-custodial sentences she had given to other sports figures convicted of perjury or obstruction in the BALCO probe.

The sentence had been recommended by the court’s probation department in a presentencing report.

The report is confidential, but Illston said it described years of charitable contributions quietly made by Bonds.

“The thing that was striking to me was that most of that was out of the public eye,” she said.

Prosecutors sought a penalty of one year and three months in prison, while Bonds’ defense team had asked for probation and community service.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parrella argued that a non-prison sentence would be “a slap on the wrist” and said Bonds was “unapologetic and unrepentant.”

He unsuccessfully urged Illston to consider Bonds’ alleged “years of performance-enhancing drug use, steroid use, lying about it in the media and to other people.

“He made an awful lot of money,” Parrella said.

While playing for the Giants, Bonds set Major League Baseball’s records for single-season and career home runs.

He has steadfastly denied knowingly having taken steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.

He told the grand jury that he had taken substances known as “the clear” and “the cream” from Anderson, but said he thought they were flaxseed oil and arthritis ointment.

The substances were later identified as so-called designer steroids that had been engineered to be undetectable.

Bonds is one of 11 people who were accused of either illegally distributing drugs or lying in connection with the BALCO probe. The others all pleaded guilty or were convicted of various charges. He is the last to be sentenced.

Jack Gillund, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, said, “We have no comment” on the sentencing.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Pauli

    One of Holder’s people beat the rap. Imagine that.

    • teaisstronger

      Another Black walks for crimes whites get time.

      • Paul

        I see one of the 8 people who watch/listen Glenn Beck are posters here

      • Fred

        I didn’t think the ‘false flag’ posting by tea could be topped for ridiculousness…but Paul, yours is vying for the spot.

    • Paula

      Idiot. Look at similar cases and what their punishment was before you go spouting out your racist comments. Holder is a D-bag but had nothing to do with this case.

      Just wonder how much time Palmeiro. Didn’t he lie to congress. Got some fact on that for us?

      • Beneficiary

        Whatever the case my be that you are quibbiling over…. Your comment does however confirm your membership in the order of Neo-pagan/pseudo liberal Witches.

    • Dennis in WV

      I am not a fan of Barry Bonds, but where’s the crime here? Bonds was NOT convicted of using steroids or any other illegal drug. Maybe one day you’ll have personal reason to be grateful for being innocent until PROVEN guilty in America.

      Bonds was convicted of “lying” or obstructing a federal grand jury about a crime that he did not get convicted of.

      Take a grip, folks, but who lies to us more? The government or your neighbor? See “Fast and Furious” here. Or maybe Clinton, lying to a grand jury and to us. Or maybe “Solyndra” here. Or maybe “Jon Corzine” here. Or maybe “Watergate” here. Or maybe the “Tuskegee Syphilis” experiment here. Or maybe Eric Holder here. Or maybe George W. Bush here. Or maybe Collin Powell here. Or most other politicians here.

      This is not about Race. This is about POWER, and if you don’t understand that yet shame on you.

      • freecheese

        Congress NEVER could tell the truth. Why should they hold Bonds to a higher standard. He wasn’t elected by a public that expected him to be held above the voters?

  • Economics Professor

    Had this been a white working person, that person would have been sentenced to at least 1 year in prison, and a $100,000 fine. I’m putting even money that Obama’s a$$ kissing buddy, Corzine, gets even less penalty. Will someone please put Eric H out to pasture and stud prior to his total destruction of the U.S. justice system.

    • billysam33

      Holder is not white..but was not even charged foe misleading Congress in Fast and Furious. Obama is not white and he has lied to all of us, remember “I will close GITMO?”….

    • Dennis in WV

      How about Clinton? Bush? Nixon? Ever read about the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment?

      Mark Rich was pardoned by Eric Holder for tax evasion. Check lately on where Wesley Snipes is?

      This is about power and not race. Don’t be so naive or narrow-minded.

      • Dave

        Didn’t Martha Stewart serve 5 months in prison for the same crime?

  • David H

    How much in taxpayer dollars was wasted on this witch hunt? They try to throw the book at Bonds but let the Black Panther voter intimidators in Philadelphia off the hook? Thank you Eric Holder.

  • caligula

    i’ll forgo the racism others have spewed and just say – ban him from anything having to do with baseball, wipe him out of the record books, and never allow his name to even be uttered at Cooperstown.

    • Dennis in WV

      Bonds has never, ever even tested positive for any illegal drugs of any type. He has not been convicted of using any illegal drugs even though the federal government invested millions in trying to do so..

      If you get a chance to read the U.S. Constitution I would suggest you do so.

  • Don

    Glad to see he got a slap on the wrist. This should never have gone to Congress, baseball should have handled this matter. It was the East Coast owners that didn’t want a West coast guy to be the home run king. There was so much hatred against Bonds you knew (the East coast writers and owners just wanted him dead). Way to go Barry. Ha Ha

    • John C

      Hope he didn’t get bruising from the slap on the wrist.

    • MP

      Bonds hit 176 of his record breaking 762 home runs (23%) while playing for the Pirates. Hardly a West Coast team.

    • Dennis in WV

      Got your cases mixed up. Congress had nothing to do with this one. They were too busy at the time, lying to us about something else.


    […] (First column, 7th story, link) […]

  • StandingO

    They ought to make this tougher–during his 30 days of home confinement, he should be required to watch ESPN, non-stop, 24/7!

  • MadMax

    Tell me again why Pete Rose is banned from the Hall of Fame? F*%k the justice system!!!

  • John C

    Demonstrating once again that celebrities (movie stars, politicians, and professional sports players) are effective above the laws that apply to “ordinary citizens”.

  • fhwilson429

    why not 30 days vacation.
    Judge is a politician.

  • billysam33

    You are cold!!

  • lance

    So it’s ok if the government lies to you, but if you lie to the government watch out!

  • MetaCynic

    So this unconstitutional federal witch hunt has wasted many millions of dollars of taxpayer money to convict another person along with countless millions of others over what they put into their bodies which is no business of the government’s. Yet Congress, all of whose members have taken a sacred oath to preserve and protect the Constitution, has recently voted to dismantle the Bill of Rights by stealthily inserting a provision in a defense appropriations bill which allows the military to arrest and indefinitely detain Americans on American soil with no charges and no trial. Welcome to the 4th Reich!

  • SF Giantsuck

    Now that mr bonds is a convicted felon, for using performance enhancing drugs to gain the home run title, can the league take away his title?
    Seems only fair…………..

  • Michael Saveme Silverman

    5th amendment???

  • JOe Dutra

    Bonds a home run champ? No more than Miley Cyrus and AutoTune make a great singer.

  • Jim

    Goldman Sachs walks away will trillions and we’re going after baseball players because of things they put in their bodies. The legal system is officially dead.

  • Dave E

    This whole scandal is MLB’s fault. They had no rules against steroid use, so naturally players are going to use them because their careers are at stake. Bush should have pardoned all of them.

  • lungshot

    I feel safer already. What a bunch of BS!

  • Tarmangani Aaron

    Waste of time and tax payer money.

  • jgdp

    holder is lower than obumbler. A complete SOS! (Just a thought in passinig and no comment on a ball player’s worthlessnbess)

  • Ltpar

    Apparently, Federal Judges have too much discretion in sentencing guidelines, which means inconsistency in Justice. This Judge was obviously a liberal who probably believes the drugs Bonds dispensed should be legalized. All tthe more reason to remove lifetime appointments for all Judges and make them run for office every four years. Bad decisions and the people could kick him/her out the front door. Put that onthe list of things to fix, after we get all the other chaos in the country cleaned up?

  • JIM


  • Barry bin Inhalin

    How much did this trial and circus cost the TAXPAYER? For what again?

    Look – it’s baseball – WHY were all of these overpaid clowns called before Congress, Grand Juries, etc.?

    • sfoxe


  • Chicago Jack

    From the Glorious home run chase in the 70’s of the great and rule abiding Hank Aaron, who worked hard for 30 years in baseball to get there and went through more BS any human should have to on the way to his home run record to this lying, cheating, drug abusing, woman abusing, roid raging POS.

    A totally perfect analogy for our entire society frankly, from the greatest country the world’s ever seen to a has been, bankrupt both morally and fiscally third world dump in 30 years. Nice work lefties, of which Barry Shoot me up Bonds IS ONE not surprisingly enough.

    And how fitting he closes out his career in San Frank Freakshow to top it all off…..sorry for you folks trapped there who can’t escape and dearly want to, I’m not inferring you and believe me, I know how you feel, being outside Chicago here myself, another third world ghettofied dump (also with cruddy baseball teams 99% of the time) thanks to 40 years of liberal rule just like there.

    But thanks to Oblamo’s depression, most of us can’t escape without selling our life’s work and devalued homes for a bag of crack to get the hell out.

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