After four days of deliberations, the jury Wednesday afternoon in the Barry Bonds perjury trial convicted the former Giants outfielder on one count of obstructing justice, but failed to reach a verdict on the other three perjury charges, prompting Judge Susan Illston to declare a mistrial.
It was a fittingly vague end to a trial that dragged on years after the details of the central crime (the veracity of Bonds' 2003 Grand Jury testimony claiming he never used steroids) faded from memory.
Each conviction carried a minimum sentence of ten years, but Bonds is likely to serve far less than that. According to the Los Angeles Times, "federal sentencing guidelines recommend 15 to 21 months in prison for a [obstruction of justice] conviction." USA Today says he's "most likely to get probation."
Based on the initial reactions from legal analysts and baseball writers, neither side looks like much of a winner. CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen tweeted the verdict was "as muddy...as the four-year-old case, and the three-week old trial, and the reputation the defendant himself."
Wondered Slate's Tom Scocca: "ls there a lower point in the Continuous News Cycle than the moment when the news moves that something has happened, but nobody knows what it is?
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