The big news about Barry Bonds that broke late yesterday has already prompted our own Andrew Cohen to render his own verdict on what the case may hold:
I'm sure that Bonds is disappointed that the feds delivered him an early Thanksgiving turkey in the form of a five-count perjury and obstruction of justice indictment. Disappointed but surely not surprised. Bonds and his attorneys almost certainly knew that prosecutors were poised to go public with this. In fact, I'd be shocked if government lawyers and Team Bonds hadn't discussed some sort of a deal prior to what amounts to the first day of the rest of Bonds' life.Check out the rest of Cohen's commentary and see what you think.
The indictment is simple and straightforward and suitably detailed. And stripped of all the hooey, the case and trial would be a fairly routine affair as well. Prosecutors will bring witnesses to the stand who will say that they saw Bonds do or say what he now claims he did not. Defense attorneys will attack the reliability and credulity of those witnesses and show jurors their own version of events. The case comes down to this: what did Bonds know about steroids and Balco and when did he know it.
At first brush, and until we know more about the allegations and their origins, it seems like a zero-sum game for the defense. Bonds' attorneys have to go -- and please forgive me for this -- 5-for-5 on the counts to avoid a conviction. For prosecutors, carrying the burden of proof, they have to go (again, please) 1-for-5 to argue that Bonds deserved to be punish for his crime.
And what a case it could be...