Entertainment & Sports Law

En banc 9th Circuit nixes Barry Bonds obstruction conviction

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After years of litigation, former baseball slugger Barry Bonds has prevailed in a criminal case related to his claimed use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Saying in a two-page opinion that his conviction by a federal jury in San Francisco on a single obstruction count was not supported by the evidence, an en banc federal appeals court panel reversed the conviction (PDF) on Wednesday, noting that double jeopardy precludes his being retried.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had upheld the conviction in 2013, reports the Associated Press.

However, Bonds’ “rambling, non-responsive answer to a simple question” during a grand jury proceeding was not clearly material to the case, the en banc panel found.

The jury deadlocked on three perjury charges during his 2011 trial and they were later dropped.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Barry Bonds Gets Probation, 30 Days House Arrest, Both Stayed During Appeal, in Obstruction Case”

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