Major League Baseball all-time home run leader and former San Francisco Giants left fielder Barry Bonds has been found guilty of obstructing justice, while the jury could not agree on three other charges in a verdict announced Wednesday afternoon in San Francisco.
Since the extent of obstruction of justice ranges so widely, Bonds' penalty could be anything from a simple fine to a 10-year prison sentence. He could be put under house arrest, too.
The jury couldn't agree on three charges that Bonds faced in what ended as a year-long federal case. Bonds had been accused of perjury after testifying before a grand jury that he did not knowingly use steroids or human growth hormone during his playing career with the San Francisco Giants.
Obstruction of justice is defined at the U.S. Department of Justice website as:
"Any unlawful act committed with intent to prevent or hinder the administration of justice, including law enforcement, judicial, and correctional functions. Examples include contempt, perjury, bribing witnesses, failure to report a crime, and nonviolent resisting of arrest."
The verdict ends the federal government's lengthy investigation and prosecution of the BALCO over the production of and use of performance enhancing drugs.
(Ted Sillanpaa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)