Barry Bonds’ lawyers aretheir position that federal prosecutors are attempting to “obtain a conviction based on hearsay” by asking an appeals court to allow alleged positive steroid tests into evidence at his perjury trial. They have asked the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to uphold the decision to bar those test results from the trial. The original decision to from being used as evidence was issued by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, who has judged them inadmissible hearsay, as the government failed to link them to Bonds.
The government appealed the judgment, asking that they be allowed under exceptions to the ban on hearsay testimony. Bonds’ lawyers maintain that the exceptions do not apply in this case, and further accused the government of filing its appeal in an attempt to salvage their case, as a result of the vast amount of publicity it has received.
The failure to link the positive steroid tests to Bonds came as a result of his former trainer, Greg Anderson, refusing to testify. He was one of the few defendants who did not cooperate with the government’s BALCO investigation, and instead pleaded guilty to steroid distribution, serving three months in prison. Because of his refusal to testify against Bonds, Judge William Alsup found Anderson in contempt of court and in July of 2006. He was then released after the grand jury term expired without indicting Bonds, and was subsequently found in contempt of court again in August 29 of that same year. He was released in 2007. Federal prosecutors, at the time, felt they no longer needed Anderson to pursue their case against Bonds, and filed their indictment without Anderson’s cooperation as a witness, and he was released shortly after that later indictment was filed.
Upon release his wife received a letter from prosecutors threatening to charge her with criminal conspiracy. The U.S. Attorney’s office had already failed to get information from her, when an assigned undercover agent befriended her and was unable to obtain any relevant information. Federal agents subsequently raided his mother in law’s home, and threatened to charge her with unrelated crimes, on the understanding that they charges would be forgotten about, pending Anderson’s agreement to testify against Barry Bonds.
Thus far, this failed prosecution has cost the taxpayer an estimated $55 million dollars, and an inordinate amount of embarrassment for the U.S. Attorney’s office.