Bonds' conviction overturned by appeals court
Barry Bonds learned Wednesday that his conviction for obstruction of justice was reversed by the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals. Bonds had previously appealed his conviction once before, when a three-judge panel upheld the judgment in a unanimous vote.
A majority of the circuit's 28 judges voted to hear the case again, and oral arguments took place last September. That panel's judgment came down Wednesday, and it ruled that Bonds' testimony before a 2003 grand jury was not material to the government's investigation into steroid distribution.
"Today's news is something that I have long hoped for," Bonds said in a statement. "I am humbled and truly thankful for the outcome, as well as the opportunity our judicial system affords to all individuals to seek justice. I would like to thank my family, friends and all of you who have supported me throughout my career, and especially over the past several years. Your support has given me strength throughout this and for that, I am beyond grateful."
Bonds, indicted on four counts in 2007 and tried in '11, had a mistrial declared on three of the counts due to the jury being deadlocked. Bonds was charged with making false statements regarding receiving injections of steroids and HGH from his trainer Greg Anderson.
Bonds, who hit an all-time record 762 home runs during his 22-year career in the Major Leagues, was originally sentenced to 30 days of home confinement, two years of probation and 250 hours of community service following his conviction. Bonds has already served the home confinement.
When asked specifically whether Anderson had ever given him "anything that required a syringe to inject yourself with," Bonds issued a misleading statement that the appeals court ruled Wednesday did not have the force of incrimination.
"That's what keeps our friendship," Bonds said. "I was a celebrity child, not just in baseball by my own instincts. I became a celebrity child with a famous father. I just don't get into other people's business because of my father's situation, you see."
Bonds, a 14-time All-Star, was well-represented in Major League Baseball's Franchise Four voting. Bonds was named one of the four players most emblematic of the San Francisco Giants franchise, and he's also a finalist to be named one of the game's Greatest Living Players.
Bonds' statement Wednesday went on as follows: "This has been a long and strenuous period in my life; I very much look forward to moving beyond it. I do so without ill will toward anyone. I am excited about what the future holds for me as I embark on the next chapter. Lastly and certainly not least, I would like to thank my legal team for their hard work and diligence on my behalf."