Former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds is asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to reconsider its refusal last month to overturn his 2011 conviction on a charge of obstruction of justice.
Bonds, Major League Baseball’s all-time home run leader, was convicted in April 2011 on one count as part of a four-count indictment related to grand jury testimony. In that testimony, Bonds denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs. A jury found Bonds guilty of obstruction while deadlocking on the other three counts, which were later dismissed.
According to the Associated Press, this request is something of a legal Hail Mary. A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit unanimously upheld Bonds’ conviction in September.
Judge Mary Schroeder, writing for the appellate panel, said Bonds’ intent to mislead, and therefore obstruct, the grand jury was plain.
“The statement served to divert the grand jury’s attention away from the relevant inquiry of the investigation, which was [Greg] Anderson and BALCO’s distribution of steroids and PEDs,” Schroeder wrote. “The statement was therefore evasive.”
Bonds is asking the court to put together a panel of 11 judges to rehear his case. Those requests are seldom granted and would require a majority vote of the 27 judges on the court.
If, as expected, the 9th Circuit denies Bonds’ request, his next—and last—step would be to request the U.S. Supreme Court hear his case.
Bonds’ argument centers on the same grounds for which his appeal was denied in September. He claims he was wrongfully convicted for telling the truth, albeit in a somewhat circuitous manner.
Bonds was asked whether Anderson had injected him with a substance. Bonds’ reply talked about the difficulties he encountered being the son of a famous father, former Giants’ All-Star Bobby Bonds.