The U.S. Department of Justice formally dropped its criminal prosecution of Barry Bonds today, nearly eight years after he was first indicted on obstruction of justice and perjury charges. He was convicted on a single count of obstruction in 2011 but had his conviction overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals in April of this year. He was acquitted on all perjury counts at his original trial.
As we have argued in painstaking detail, Bonds likely lied under oath during grand jury testimony back in 2003 when he was asked if he ever used performance enhancing drugs. The prosecution was unable to pin him down in a lie, however, because there were no other witnesses willing to testify to contradict him. The obstruction of justice count, based on Bonds’ rambling response to a question which Bonds eventually answered, was about as weak a count as they come. In almost any other case the government would decline to push forward with the prosecution based on a lack of evidence. In this case prosecutors, no doubt motivated by a high profile defendant in a high profile case pushed on.
In the end it cost taxpayers millions lasted nearly twelve years since his grand jury testimony and nearly eight years after his indictment. In the end, like so many times before, Barry Bonds walks.