Barry Bonds was sentenced Friday to 30 days house arrest to avoid prison. It marks the final chapter into the eight-year investigation into steroid allegations.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston immediately delayed imposing the sentence while Bonds appeals his obstruction of justice conviction. The former baseball star was found guilty in April not of using steroids, but of misleading grand jurors.
“Whatever he did or didn’t do, we all lie,” said Esther Picazo, a fan outside the courthouse. “We all make mistakes. But I don’t think he should’ve gotten any kind of punishment at all.”
Barry was sentenced to two years of probation, 250 hours of community service, a $4,000 fine and 30 days of home confinement. It will take time to determine whether he serves any of it; his appellate specialist, Dennis Riordan, estimated it would take nearly a year and a half for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rule.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parrella called the sentence a “slap on the wrist” and the fine “almost laughable” for a superstar athlete who made more than $192 million for playing baseball.
Parrella had sought 15 months in prison and argued that home confinement wasn’t punishment enough “for a man with a 15,000-square-foot house with all the advantages.”
Bonds lives in a six-bedroom, 10-bath house with a gym and swimming pool.
“The defendant basically lived a double life for decades before this,” Parrella said. He ripped Bonds not only over performance-enhancing drugs but over his personal life: “He had mistresses throughout his marriages.”
Parrella said Bonds made lots of money due in part to his use of performance enhancers and that he has been “unrepentant” and “unapologetic” about it.
On the final charge, the trial jury convicted Bonds of purposely answering questions about steroids with rambling non sequiturs in an attempt to mislead the grand jury.
“I think he probably got off a little easy,” said Jessica Wolfram, one of the jurors who convicted Bonds of obstruction. “He was just so clearly guilty, so I actually am happy he got sentenced to something.”
Wolfram said she researched the case after the trial and viewed evidence not presented then. After that, she felt even more comfortable that Barry Bonds was guilty.