NEW YORK, N.Y. - Federal prosecutors are considering whether to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate Barry Bonds' obstruction of justice conviction.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco on Tuesday asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which overturned the conviction last week, not to send the case back to District Court for final procedures.
Prosecutors said they are deliberating whether to recommend to the Solicitor General in the Justice Department that a petition be filed with the Supreme Court. The deadline for asking the Supreme Court to take the case is July 22, unless an extension of up to 60 days is requested and granted.
In their filing, prosecutors said the case presents a "substantial question" and the appellate court did not properly apply case law in a decision announced last Wednesday. The appeals court voted 10-1 there was not sufficient evidence Bonds' rambling response before a grand jury in 2003 was material to a government investigation into the distribution of illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
Prosectors said the 9th Circuit "must view all trial evidence in the light most favourable to the prosecution, and presume that all inferences to be drawn from the evidence were made in favour of the prosecution."
Prosecutors told the court that Dennis Riordan, Bonds' appellate lawyer, informed them he did not object to the motion to stay the mandate.
Bonds, baseball's career home runs leader, was indicted in 2007 for his testimony before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.
During a trial in March 2011, a jury deadlocked on three counts charging Bonds with making false statements but convicted him on one count of obstruction of justice for his response when he was asked whether Greg Anderson, his personal trainer, ever gave him "anything that required a syringe to inject yourself with."
"That's what keeps our friendship," Bonds said. "I was a celebrity child, not just in baseball by my own instincts. I became a celebrity child with a famous father. I just don't get into other people's business because of my father's situation, you see."
The deadlocked counts were dismissed by the government, and Bonds was sentenced in 2011 by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston to 30 days of home confinement, two years of probation, 250 hours of community service in youth-related activities and a $4,000 fine. He has served the home confinement and paid the fine.
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit upheld the conviction in September 2013 but the larger group voted to reverse it.