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Former baseball player Barry Bonds leaves federal court after being sentenced for obstructing justice in a government steroids investigation on Friday in San Francisco. A federal judge handed Bonds a sentence of 30 days of house arrest, two years of probation and 250 hours of community service, but delayed the sentence pending an appeal likely to take a year or more. Story here. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Question: Has Barry Bonds home run records been tarnished/enhanced by the relative slap on the wrist he received after years of being pursued by government investigators & prosecutors?
Former baseball player Barry Bonds arrives at federal court as a jury deliberates perjury charges against him on Wednesday in San Francisco. Bonds was found guilty of one count of obstructing justice but the jury couldn't reach a verdict on the question of whether Bonds had lied about never knowingly using steroids during his career. New York Times story here. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Question: Now that Barry Bonds has been found guilty of obstructing justice (but not three counts of lying about knowingly using steroids), should he be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame?
Barry Bonds supporter Allen Jones waits outside of a federal courthouse for the verdict in the Bonds' perjury trial, Friday, in San Francisco. A jury is now deliberating the perjury case involving Bonds' suspected use of banned substances to enhance his baseball performance during his playing days. Story here. (AP Photo/ Paul Sakuma)
Question (if you're following the Barry Bonds' perjury case): Do you think Major League Baseball home run king Barry Bonds is guilty? Do you want to see him go to jail if he is?
RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The eight women and four men sat in the jury box for more than 4½ hours, listening to angry arguments from federal prosecutors and Barry Bonds' attorneys at the end of a 12-day trial that exposed the dark world of baseball's Steroids Era. Now, Bonds' fate is up to them.
After listening to tawdry accusations of drug use, theft and body parts that grew (Bonds' head) and shrank (his testicles), the 12-member panel gets to decide whether the home run king will become a convicted felon.
Bonds' trial on charges he lied to a grand jury more than seven years ago when he denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs ended Thursday with closing arguments from both sides that were filled with virulence and self-righteousness.
"There's a real irony to this case," Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parrella concluded. "These substances that the defendant took to make himself strong — he wasn't strong. He was weak. He was too weak to tell the truth despite all the anabolic steroids."
And with that, at 3:51 p.m., U.S. District Judge Susan Illston turned to the jury box and said: "At this point ladies and gentlemen, we're turning it over to you."
The jury's first order of business when it starts deliberations today — the day the World Series flag is raised at nearby AT&T Park, home of Bonds' San Francisco Giants — is to elect a foreman. Then it must sort through the testimony of 25 witnesses and hundreds of exhibits that include syringes, vials and dizzying computer graphs of drug tests.
A seven-time MVP regarded as among the greatest hitters ever, Bonds is charged with three counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice. His lawyers ridiculed the prosecution as being celebrity obsessed and willing to cut deals with anyone who would implicate perhaps the top player of his generation.
"It's part of an effort to demonize Barry Bonds, and it's very wrong," lead defense lawyer Allen Ruby said.
Cristina Arguedas, another of Bonds' attorneys, repeatedly took off her glasses and pointed them contemptuously at Jeff Novitzky (right), the tall, bald federal investigator who was seated at the prosecution table.
"They have the power to end careers and to ruin lives," she said to the jury, her voice quavering. "And nobody gets to test that evidence unless they have the wherewithal and internal strength to come to a jury trial — to you."
Read the rest of the AP story by clicking the link below.