SAN FRANCISCO — Famed slugger Barry Bonds was sentenced Friday to two years’ probation and 30 days of house arrest for obstruction of justice, but U.S. District Judge Susan Illston stayed the sentence, pending Bonds’ appeal.
Quoting heavily from the probation department’s pre-sentencing report, which is sealed from public view, Illston said early on that although “the jury got it right” when it found Bonds guilty of lying to a grand jury panel, she was inclined to agree with the report’s recommendation of two years’ probation. The government had sought 15 months’ prison time. Illston cited four reasons from the pre-sentencing report to downgrade the sentence from guidelines: lying to a grand jury is “a different kind” of obstruction than examples given in the sentencing guidelines (like firebombing a witness’s house), Bonds’ charitable work, his lack of a record, and avoiding sentencing disparities with other prosecutions relating to steroid investigations.
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