Federal prosecutors on Friday scored a very tiny victory as Barry Bonds sat in a San Francisco federal courtroom where he was ordered to spend 30 days under house arrest.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston who has a history of short sentences for world class athletes said the "jury got it right. Mr. Bonds managed to obstruct justice."
The sentence was quickly stayed pending an appeal, in any case the outcome is better than the 15 month prison sentence Bonds could have received under federal guidelines.
If the appeal loses Bonds will be forced to remaining in his 6-bedroom, 10-bathroom mansion for 30 days while wearing an ankle monitor, hardly an "upper class" sentencing job by the court.
The sentencing came less than a month after Bonds' defense lawyers argued in a courtroom memo that the judge should give bond two years probation, fine him $4,000 and make him perform 250 hours of community service.
For their part federal prosecutors tried to paint a negative image of Bonds who they noted had mistresses throughout his marriage while calling the $4,000 fine laughable.
In a memo to Judge Illston the prosecutors wrote:
"Because Bonds's efforts were a corrupt, intentional effort to interfere with that mission [BALCO], a sentence of 15 months imprisonment is appropriate."
No other sentencing from the BALCO case has included jail time.
Do you think the Barry Bonds sentence was too harsh or not harsh enough?