Ten years of the BALCO investigation of prosecutions just about came to a close on Friday, December 16, 2011, as federal judge Susan Illston sentenced Barry Bonds to two years probation, 30 days of location monitoring ("house arrest"), 250 hours of community service and a $4,000 fine. The sentence has been stayed for the time being while Bonds' attorneys appeal.
The sentence was just about what was expected. Judge Illston has heard other BALCO-related cases and in all such cases she imposed house arrest and probation. The US Probation Office submitted a presentence report suggesting approximately this sentence and she decided to go with their suggestion.
The government attorneys asked for 15 months of imprisonment as they felt the obstruction conviction was much more serious. In their final argument before Judge Illston, they repeatedly pointed to some of the facts of the case as they related to intentional lies. Unfortunately for the government, the jury was hung on all three charges related to perjury and those three charges were subsequently dismissed. They seemed to believe that if they said it enough, it would make it true. Not so much US government.