U.S. District Judge Susan Illston will announce on Friday whether Barry Bonds will be allowed to return home to his six-bedroom Beverly Hills mansion with an ankle bracelet or if he’ll be sentenced to a federal prison.
Bonds is being sentenced to one count of obstructing justice after he provided “evasive testimony” to a federal grand jury as they probed the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative steroids scandal in December 2003
Bonds’ sentencing will take place in the same federal courthouse where he misled investigators eight years prior.
Federal prosecutors have asked that Bonds be sentenced to 15 months behind bars, arguing that his denial of using performance enhancing drugs were part of a “calculated plan to obfuscate and distract” the grand jury involved in the BALCO case.
In the meantime Bonds‘ lawyers have promised to appeal the decision and in the meantime have asked for home arrest given their clients clean criminal record and his charity work in the community.
While federal sentencing guidelines typically request 15 to 21 months judge Illston is not required to stay within those guidelines.
In the meantime legal experts say Illston will likely avoid time behind bars as she did for other world-class athletes including cyclist Tammy Thomas (six months home detention for perjury conviction) and track coach Trevor Graham (one year home detention for federal agent tampering).
The case could be an important barometer in the possible sentencing of former superstar pitcher Roger Clemens who is being persued for perjury by federal prosecutors and in the unfolding case of cyclist Lance Armstrong who still denies his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
What do you think a fair sentence for Barry Bonds would be?