Barry Bonds has now started his trial. No, he is not on trial for the USE of STEROIDS, he is on trial for LYING about it to the Grand Jury. Bonds was originally charged on November 15, 2007 (just months after breaking Hank Aaron’s home run record) with 15 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice but that has since been widdled down to just a handful. The question of whether he lied in 2003 to the grand jury about using performance-enhancing drugs is up to 8 women and 4 men (there are also 2 alternates).
Let me debunk the myths surrounding jury selection. It is NOT exactly what you see on TV. It definitely is not as dramatic or interesting. Rarely, at least in Arizona, do the lawyers get to really delve into the jurors’ thoughts and beliefs. However, there are some trials where the judges allow more in depth juror questioning; usually because it is a high profile case. For example, in this case, the potential jurors first had to complete a 19-page questionnaire and then come to the courtroom for more questioning.
Through the use of questionnaires and in courtroom questioning, the court and the attorneys are trying to find jurors who can be fair, impartial and make their decision only on the evidence that is presented to them during the trial. Not what has been said in the media, both TV and print. Additionally, they want to make sure the jurors understand the real issues – meaning – that it is not baseball on trial, or the Giants or anything like that; it is about Bonds and whether he lied.
As you can guess, this trial will be on TV. More and more high profile trials are being telecast on cable networks such as Tru TV. Although you never get to see the jury, you are able to view the rest of the trial. Including parts that the jury is not entitled to see. Before these trials can be broadcast the media has to request permission from the judge to do so. Now you may say, “but I thought courtrooms were public places.” Well, they are, however, the judge has authority over what goes on in the courtroom and anytime the media is involved there is a level of chaos.
One issue that came up even before the actual trial started; was the disclosure of the juror questionnaires. The media wanted the information, all of it, but there were valid concerns about what would happen if all the information contained in the questionnaires, including the names of the potential jurors got out. For example, there could be tampering with the jury, harassment of the jury, or you can only imagine what else. Well, in the end, the judge decided to release the questionnaires, but not the names. I believe this was a smart decision and the safest decision that could be made. It satisfies the media’s request for information and helps protect both the jurors and the jury selection process.
Now that the TVs are in place and the jury has been selected, the real trial begins. Stay tuned for updates to see what comes next…
2:09 PM: Barry Bonds’ trainer, Greg Anderson, told a federal judge in San Francisco today that he will refuse to testify at the slugger’s perjury trial, even if he has to go to jail for contempt of court.
The former San Francisco Giants slugger is accused of lying when he said he never knowingly received steroids from Anderson and never received an injection from him.
The former San Francisco Giants slugger is accused of lying when he said he never knowingly received steroids from his trainer, Greg Anderson, and never received an injection from Anderson.
Longtime San Francisco Giants clubhouse manager Mike Murphy will testify about Barry Bonds’ hat size, a Nike employee will discuss the slugger’s feet and prosecutors will show the jury photographs of Bonds’ growing physique during his career, court papers filed Monday showed.
In a witness list filed Monday, prosecutors outlined their planned evidence, most of which has been made public since a grand jury started meeting more than seven years ago. The prosecution said former San Francisco Giants teammate Bobby Estalella, and former Bonds girlfriend Kimberly Bell will testify Bonds told them he used steroids.
In addition, they said former Bonds assistant Steve Hoskins will testify he learned of Bonds’ steroids use from both Bonds and personal trainer Greg Anderson, who is refusing to testify. And Kathy Hoskins, Bonds’ former personal shopper, will testify she saw Bonds being injected by Anderson.
Bonds has been indicted on four counts of making false statements to a grand jury and one count of obstruction of justice for telling the grand jury he never took steroids or human growth hormone from Anderson, took only vitamins from Anderson and was injected only by physicians. He has pleaded not guilty.
The filings Monday include nine photographs of Bonds throughout his career, first as an Arizona State Sun Devil, then a Pittsburgh Pirate and finally a San Francisco Giant. Murphy, who started as a 16-year-old batboy with the Giants and been on the team’s payroll for 53 years, also will be asked about Bonds’ apparent growth in those photographs, according to the court filing Monday.
“The clubhouse manager for the San Francisco Giants will testify as to the increase in the defendant’s hat size,” federal prosecutor Jeff Nedrow states in the court filing.
The Nike employee is expected to tell the jury that Bonds’ shoe size grew. Prosecutors argue that head and feet growth are a side effect of steroid use. lso Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston ruled that testimony of former baseball players and their relationship with Bonds’ former personal trainer during the slugger’s trial scheduled to start March 21.
Other baseball players are expected to testify that Anderson provided them with performance-enhancing drugs and detailed instructions on how to use them.
Bonds’ lawyers argued that their testimony shouldn’t be allowed because Anderson is refusing to testify and therefore cannot corroborate their stories.
But Illston ruled Monday that prosecutors can use the testimony to support their position that Anderson supplied Bonds with the same drugs and instructions that others received.
Judge: Jason Giambi Can Testify Against Barry Bonds
News by Courthouse News
(March 08, 2011) in Sports
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — A federal judge will let Jason Giambi and other athletes testify that Barry Bonds’ personal trainer had provided them withsteroids, even though Bonds’ attorneys say such statements would lead a jury to believe that Anderson had supplied Bonds with the same drugs.
The list of permitted witnesses, approved by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston on Monday, contains 38 names, including pro athletes, doctors, and unnamed members of the Doping Control Laboratory in Montreal.
Bonds, baseball’s all-time home run king, is accused of lying to a federal grand jury on Dec. 4, 2003, about his alleged steroid use; he claimed that he thought a clear substance provided to him by his trainer, Greg Anderson, was flaxseed oil.
The ballplayer could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of four counts of perjury and one count of obstructing justice in the BALCO steroids investigation, in which he was indicted.
Judge Illston wrote that Bonds “argues that the jury will be asked to conclude ‘that Anderson had a propensity to provide performance enhancing drugs … to athletes, so he must have done so with Mr. Bonds.’ This is a red herring.”
She added, “The government is not implying that Mr. Anderson gave defendant injectable testosteronebecause he somehow had a character trait that necessitated that he package injectable testosterone with ‘the cream’ and ‘the clear.’ Rather … it shows that Mr. Anderson had a general ‘plan’ – and what that general plan was – for how to distribute performance enhancing drugs to athletes, how to communicate about these performance-enhancing drugs with inquiring athletes, and how to allay concerns of athletes worried about testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs or generally being accused of using steroids.”
Anderson has spent 6 months in prison for his role in the steroid distribution scandal and a year for contempt of court for not cooperating in the Bonds investigation. He is scheduled to testify during the 3-week trial that is set to begin on March 21, though Anderson has said he will refuse to testify, despite warnings from Illston that he could face additional jail time.
Also listed as a witness is Bonds’ ex-girlfriend Kimberly Bell, who is expected to testify that she saw Bonds taking steroids in 2000.
According to the witness list, Bell noticed significant bodily changes in Bonds starting in 1999 “includingbloating, acne on the shoulders and back, hair loss, sexual dysfunction, and testicular shrinkage. She will also testify about changes in the defendant’s temperament, including an increase in angry, threatening, controlling, and violent behavior,” according to prosecutors’ 9-page Witness List.
SAN FRANCISCO – Barry Bonds wasn’t the only baseball legend with high-powered legal representation Monday at the U.S. District Court, where the slugger’s long-delayed perjury trial got started with jury selection.
Also present was one of Roger Clemens’ attorneys, Joe Roden, who is advising the indicted pitcher in both his criminal defense and ongoing defamation litigation. Roden arrived early to line up for courtroom access, and took a seat in the back corner of the gallery, where he quietly observed the commencement of “USA v. Barry Bonds.”
Approached during the lunch recess by the Daily News and asked why he was attending the trial, Roden politely declined to comment, citing the gag order imposed by the judge overseeing Clemens’ perjury case. He also declined to say if he will attend the entire Bonds trial, which could last anywhere from two to four weeks.
Roden, a partner at Rusty Hardin and Associates P.C., is among the team of lawyers expected to defend Clemens in a perjury trial scheduled for July at the U.S. District Court in Washington. He is also defending Clemens from a defamation case brought by his former trainer Brian McNamee, who says he personally injected the seven-time Cy Young Award winner with performance-enhancing drugs repeatedly between 1998 and 2001 or 2002.
Brad Simon, a former prosecutor who has followed both cases closely but is not involved with either of them, said it was “smart lawyering” for Clemens’ legal team to send an observer to San Francisco.
“They are both trials involving perjury in connection with steroid use by two prominent former baseball players,” says Simon. “It gives Clemens’ team an opportunity to get a dress rehearsal of the government’s presentation, which will undoubtedly be similar when Clemens’ own trial commences.”
While Bonds is accused of misleading a grand jury during confidential testimony about the BALCO steroids distribution ring in 2003, Clemens is charged with lying under oath before Congress in February 2008, when he testified that he never used steroids or human growth hormone.
Simon predicts that Roden will stay for the duration of the trial, watching to see which arguments seem to connect with the jury and which arguments strike out.
“It enables them to fine tune their own defense, possibly emphasizing certain aspects and downplaying others,” says Simon. “It is a golden opportunity for Hardin and his group. Such opportunities normally only occur when there has been a mistrial and the government has to try the case again, giving the defense an opportunity to see what the government is offering.”
There are striking differences between the Bonds and Clemens cases – different judges, different prosecutors and a different set of evidence. The Clemens indictment came after a 21/2-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is not heavily involved in the Bonds case.
But Food and Drug Administration criminal investigator Jeff Novitzky was a critical component of both cases. He uncovered the BALCO lab in 2003,and later linked McNamee to baseball drug distributor Kirk Radomski, which led McNamee to cooperate with the government and give up information about Clemens.
Novitzky is expected to testify as a government witness later this week, laying out the foundation of the government’s case and facing cross-examination by Bonds’ army of defense attorneys.
Published: Saturday, Mar. 19, 2011 – 11:00 am
SAN FRANCISCO — The charges against Barry Bonds in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, relating to his testimony on Dec. 4, 2003:
- Made false declaration before grand jury when asked “Did you ever take any steroids he (Anderson) gave you?” Bonds answered: “Not that I know of.”
- Made false declaration before grand jury when asked whether anyone other than the team doctor and other physicians had injected him. “No individuals like Mr. Anderson or associates of his?” Bonds answered: “No, no.”
- Made false declaration before grand jury when asked “He (Anderson) never gave you anything that you understood to be human growth hormone? Did he ever give you anything like that?” Bonds answered: “No.”
- Made false declaration before grand jury when asked “Prior to the last season, you never took anything that he (Anderson) asked you to take, other than the vitamins?” Bonds answered: “Right.”
- Obstruction of justice: “Did corruptly influence, obstruct and impede and endeavor to corruptly influence, obstruct and impede the due administration of justice by knowingly giving material grand jury testimony that was intentionally evasive, false and misleading, including but not limited to the false statements made by the defendant as charged in counts one through four of this indictment.”
§ 1623. False declarations before grand jury or court
How Current is This?
(a) Whoever under oath (or in any declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1746 of title 28, United States Code) in any proceeding before or ancillary to any court or grand jury of the United States knowingly makes any false material declaration or makes or uses any other information, including any book, paper, document, record, recording, or other material, knowing the same to contain any false material declaration, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(b) This section is applicable whether the conduct occurred within or without the United States.
(c) An indictment or information for violation of this section alleging that, in any proceedings before or ancillary to any court or grand jury of the United States, the defendant under oath has knowingly made two or more declarations, which are inconsistent to the degree that one of them is necessarily false, need not specify which declaration is false if—
(1) each declaration was material to the point in question, and
(2) each declaration was made within the period of the statute of limitations for the offense charged under this section.
In any prosecution under this section, the falsity of a declaration set forth in the indictment or information shall be established sufficient for conviction by proof that the defendant while under oath made irreconcilably contradictory declarations material to the point in question in any proceeding before or ancillary to any court or grand jury. It shall be a defense to an indictment or information made pursuant to the first sentence of this subsection that the defendant at the time he made each declaration believed the declaration was true.
(d) Where, in the same continuous court or grand jury proceeding in which a declaration is made, the person making the declaration admits such declaration to be false, such admission shall bar prosecution under this section if, at the time the admission is made, the declaration has not substantially affected the proceeding, or it has not become manifest that such falsity has been or will be exposed.
(e) Proof beyond a reasonable doubt under this section is sufficient for conviction. It shall not be necessary that such proof be made by any particular number of witnesses or by documentary or other type of evidence.
§ 1503. Influencing or injuring officer or juror generally
How Current is This?
(a) Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede any grand or petit juror, or officer in or of any court of the United States, or officer who may be serving at any examination or other proceeding before any United States magistrate judge or other committing magistrate, in the discharge of his duty, or injures any such grand or petit juror in his person or property on account of any verdict or indictment assented to by him, or on account of his being or having been such juror, or injures any such officer, magistrate judge, or other committing magistrate in his person or property on account of the performance of his official duties, or corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b). If the offense under this section occurs in connection with a trial of a criminal case, and the act in violation of this section involves the threat of physical force or physical force, the maximum term of imprisonment which may be imposed for the offense shall be the higher of that otherwise provided by law or the maximum term that could have been imposed for any offense charged in such case.
(b) The punishment for an offense under this section is—
(1) in the case of a killing, the punishment provided in sections 1111 and1112;
(2) in the case of an attempted killing, or a case in which the offense was committed against a petit juror and in which a class A or B felony was charged, imprisonment for not more than 20 years, a fine under this title, or both; and
(3) in any other case, imprisonment for not more than 10 years, a fine under this title, or both.
What I found very interesting, and smart, is the fact that Joe Roden, a defense attorney for Roger Clemens who arrived early and occupied a seat in the back corner of the courtroom. This is likely due to the fact there are some similarities between Bonds’ case and the government’s perjury case against Clemens, who goes on trial in July.