Barry Bonds Guilty Of Obstruction

Originally published on April 13, 2011 10:13 pm
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MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

NPR's Tom Goldman was in court in San Francisco today, and joins us now. Tom, no decision on three counts - but guilty of obstruction of justice. Tell us more about today's decisions and the non-decisions.

TOM GOLDMAN: So, those were thrown out and as you said, there was the one count of obstruction of justice that he was convicted on.

SIEGEL: Well, what do we know about the jury's deliberations, Tom, and their failure to reach unanimity on those three counts?

GOLDMAN: On the count that they did convict Barry Bonds on, the obstruction of justice, the jury foreman, Fred Jacob, said it was very clear to them that Bonds was evasive.

BLOCK: The answers had nothing to do with the questions, period. I mean, he was in front of a grand jury, and he didn't answer the questions. He was very evasive in his answers. He rarely said yes, no. It was all a story.

GOLDMAN: And again, that's jury foreman Fred Jacob, Robert. And you know, he said making the grand jury fish for information - which, he said, that's what Barry Bonds did - that constitutes obstruction of justice. And that's why the jury was unanimous in their verdict on that count.

SIEGEL: But again, he was convicted on a federal felony count of obstruction of justice. What's his reaction to that, and does he plan to appeal that conviction?

GOLDMAN: At the same time, on May 20th, the government is expected to say what its plans are for a possible retrial on counts one, two and three.

SIEGEL: And where does all this leave Major League Baseball?

GOLDMAN: Well, you know, I think baseball can dodge the big question about performance-enhancing drugs right now because Barry Bonds wasn't convicted, you know, on the allegations that he used those. But we do have the Roger Clemens trial coming up. And so this is the start of the trial season, where this is going to be fully on our radar.

SIEGEL: OK. Thanks, Tom.

GOLDMAN: You're welcome.

SIEGEL: That's NPR's Tom Goldman, speaking to us from San Francisco. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.