Bonds jury deliberations to begin Friday

Former baseball player Barry Bonds, right, arrives at federal court for closing arguments in his perjury trial in San Francisco, Thursday, April 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

April 7, 2011 5:44:33 PM PDT
The Barry Bonds jury went home Thursday without beginning deliberations after an intense, full day of closing arguments. They will begin deliberations Friday morning. After a trial where the prosecution at times seemed to stumble and fumble, they pulled off a powerful closing, as did the defense, who characterized everyone from witnesses to the government as part of a conspiracy to bring down the home run king.

Assistant U.S. attorney Jeff Nedrow gave jurors a tidy closing argument in which he answered the question, "Why would Barry Bonds lie to the 2003 grand jury about knowingly taking anabolic steroids?" He told them it was because he had a secret and it was a powerful secret that he did not even want his father to know.

Nedrow told the jury, that they need to weigh the evidence based on reasonable doubt, not beyond all doubt, asking them, "Does your common sense allow you to believe he was unknowingly duped?"

"What the prosecution is saying is 'Look at the entire picture,'" ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson said. "There are three witnesses here who say things that are consistent with Barry Bonds' knowing steroid use. Barry Bonds himself is heard to say he knows that Greg Anderson is a steroid dealer."

The defense told the jury that "enemies" is not too strong a word to describe many of the prosecution witnesses, saying, "They have presented witnesses that are not to be believed at all," and "The government is asking you to do what you are forbidden to do, fill in the gaps."

"Essentially, the argument is not so much to attack the individual witnesses, as to attack the prosecution's methods and to say that the investigation was sloppy," Johnson said. "One witness was interviewed in the presence of the other, that the witnesses have various financial motives," Johnson said.

Johnson thinks the jury deliberations will hinge on one very fine legal point in favor of the defense -- that they cannot convict Bonds if they find that his testimony had no effect on the outcome of the grand jury process, which did end in the indictment of BALCO and Anderson.