Saturday, April 16, 2011

Would Appeal by Barry Bonds succeed?

I talk to Paul Elias of the Associated Press about this topic. Bonds plans to appeal and argue that the jury instructions for Count Five constituted a legal error by Judge Illston. While the standard of review would be de novo, I don't think the appeal would work. Elias interviews several other persons, including Stanford Law Professor Bill Gould. Here are our comments excerpted:
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"Appeals are hard,'' said Vermont Law School professor Michael McCann, who specializes in sports law.

McCann and many other legal analysts said the Bonds defense team has its work cut out in flipping the jury's verdict. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, who presided over the trial, is rarely overturned on appeal and observers said she deftly handled Bonds' three-week trial.

"An appellate court is always reluctant to overturn a trial judge with a good reputation who ran a good trial,'' McCann said. "Judge Illston was really deliberate on everything she did and the appellate court will recognize that.''

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Stanford Law School professor William Gould said it will be difficult to say persuasively that the obstruction conviction is incompatible with the other charges just because the other lack verdicts.

"It's hard to argue there are mutually exclusive charges when you have only a verdict on a single charge,'' Gould said.

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To read the rest, click here.