Feds get more time to decide on Bonds retrial

June 23, 2011 6:52:05 PM PDT
Former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds was back in court on Thursday. His perjury case was decided by a jury back in April, but that doesn't mean it's over. And in fact a judge Thursday extended the case by at least two months.

Bonds' lawyers want two things -- one, for the judge to throw out his one obstruction of justice conviction and two, if the government does want to re-try him on the remaining three deadlocked counts, they should do it quickly, in accordance with Bonds' right to a speedy trial. But the prosecution said the judge has to make her decision on whether to let the conviction stand before they decide whether to re-try and, she agreed. That won't be before the end of August.

Bonds' lawyers want the judge to throw out the obstruction of justice conviction on grounds that since he wasn't convicted on any of the perjury charges, the conviction is groundless.

If she does acquit him, the prosecutors argue it would be more efficient to re-try bonds on all four counts together. If she lets it stand, maybe there would be no need for a re-trial on the remaining counts, but the government hasn't tipped its hand on how it's leaning.

"The one thing the government clearly wants is they want to put the label 'convicted felon' on Barry Bonds and they want him to do some time, and I think they've proven that, that they're going to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal," said ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson.

"Barry has confidence in the system and being vindicated by the system and that hasn't changed," said Bonds attorney Allen Ruby.

Giants fans are dumbfounded at the possibility of another trial.

"Is that against the law? I think it's a waste of money, I think they should just call it quits, and let it go," said Pacifica resident Maryann Fajardo.

"At this point, it's just been so long and drawn out I think they need to drop it. I think everybody knows what he did and we just need to move on," said Pacifica resident Ellery Fajardo.

And it's not just Giant's fans who feel that way, Kevin Farmer, a Twins fan, is in the Bay Area from Minnesota.

"There's bigger tasks at hand than to try someone for lying to a grand jury," said Farmer.

Bonds fan, Anthony Anderson, came here all the way from Nashville.

"I think it's crazy. I think that they need to let it go, let Bonds go about his life, everyone go about their life and elect him to the Hall of Fame," said Anderson.

At this rate, that may happen before this case is closed. The fact that the government is taking its time does not bode well for Bonds.

"The government may very well be out looking for more evidence to help bolster its case in any retrial that might occur," said Johnson.

Bonds' grand jury testimony was in 2003, the indictment 2007. The trial was originally supposed to start in 2009 and finally got underway two years later. When everyone's back in court August 26, we should know the next entry in that timeline.


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