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Barry Bonds Perjury Trial: A Look At the Eleven-Count Bonds Indictment

We’ve got this running stream providing a variety of updates up to and through Barry Bonds Perjury Trial this coming March. Although there has been a lot going on, I’d imagine some folks are still wondering about the specifics of what Bonds has been charged with in the indictment.

The first thing to note is that he’s actually been indicted three times thus far. The initial indictment was filed Nov. 15, 2007. In that first indictment Bonds was charged with four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. However, the judge ruled the four perjury counts were overly broad in that each count included multiple offenses in the same count.

The prosecution went back to the drawing board and came back with a second indictment filed May 13, 2008. This time Bonds was indicted on 14 counts of False Declarations Before Grand Jury and one count of Obstruction of Justice. However, there were further technical errors and that led to the third and most recent indictment.

This third indictment was filed Dec. 4, 2008. This is the current indictment under which Barry Bonds will face a jury. He is indicted on ten counts of False Declarations Before Grand Jury under Title 18 of the U.S. Code, section 1623(a) and one count of Obstruction of Justice under Title 18 of US Code, section 1503. I’ve been trying to figure out the maximum prison time on conviction and thus far I’ve seen posts mentioning maximums of 2 1/2 years or 5 years in prison. A look below at the two parts of the U.S. Code provide years but I’m not sure how it works when combining all the counts together as far as consecutive and concurrent sentences work. Either way, in my research most people do not expect him to get the maximum if convicted.

Here are the two U.S. code sections mentioned above:

Title 18 U.S.C. Section 1623(a)
Whoever under oath (or in any declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1746 of title 28, United States Code) in any proceeding before or ancillary to any court or grand jury of the United States knowingly makes any false material declaration or makes or uses any other information, including any book, paper, document, record, recording, or other material, knowing the same to contain any false material declaration, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Title 18 U.S.C. Section 1503
(a) Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede any grand or petit juror, or officer in or of any court of the United States, or officer who may be serving at any examination or other proceeding before any United States magistrate judge or other committing magistrate, in the discharge of his duty, or injures any such grand or petit juror in his person or property on account of any verdict or indictment assented to by him, or on account of his being or having been such juror, or injures any such officer, magistrate judge, or other committing magistrate in his person or property on account of the performance of his official duties, or corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b). If the offense under this section occurs in connection with a trial of a criminal case, and the act in violation of this section involves the threat of physical force or physical force, the maximum term of imprisonment which may be imposed for the offense shall be the higher of that otherwise provided by law or the maximum term that could have been imposed for any offense charged in such case.

(b) The punishment for an offense under this section is—
(1) in the case of a killing, the punishment provided in sections 1111 and 1112;
(2) in the case of an attempted killing, or a case in which the offense was committed against a petit juror and in which a class A or B felony was charged, imprisonment for not more than 20 years, a fine under this title, or both; and
(3) in any other case, imprisonment for not more than 10 years, a fine under this title, or both.