U.S. federal prosecutors Thursday recommended a 15-month prison sentence for former Major League Baseball outfielder Barry Bonds; they argued for a sentence at the lower end of federal guidelines for obstruction of justice.
Bonds, baseball's all-time leading home-run scorer, was accused of lying in his December 2003 testimony to a federal grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative in Burlingame, Calif. Prosecutors have argued that Bonds' sworn denials that he had knowingly taken steroids and human-growth hormone were patently false and he deliberately misled a grand jury with evasive testimony.
Bonds' pervasive efforts to testify falsely, to mislead the grand jury, to dodge questions, and to simply refuse to answer questions in the grand jury makes his conduct worthy of a significant jail sentence, prosecutors said in the filing.
In addition, they disagreed with a court pre-sentencing report that recommended Bonds receive a sentence of two years probation, a $4,000 fine and 250 hours of community service.
Defense lawyers who plan to appeal the conviction cited Bonds' low-profile, charitable works and also noted the probationary sentences U.S. District Judge Susan Illston has given to other sports figures like cycling star Tammy Thomas and track coach Trevor Graham.