After a 10-year-fight to convict Major League Baseball’s record-holding home run hitter Barry Bonds, the U.S. Department of Justice quietly dropped its case without a conviction on Tuesday.
The DOJ had been seeking to convict Bonds on charges of obstruction of justice over the hunt for performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball.
The player was convicted by a jury in 2011 of obstructing justice by an evasive answer he gave over whether or not his trainer Greg Anderson ever gave him injections but a federal appeals court overturned that verdict in April.
One of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judges in favor of vacating the ruling noted that, “[The obstruction statute] stretched to its limits … poses a significant hazard for everyone involved in our system of justice, because so much of what the adversary process calls for could be construed as obstruction.”
Bonds had served a portion of the sentence given him from the initial conviction before the decision was overturned.
Last week the DOJ had announced that it would not appeal the court’s ruling on overturning the conviction. And with the conviction overturned, the DOJ decided to end its pursuit of Bonds, issuing a terse, one-paragraph announcement of its decision.
Bonds broke Mark McGwire’s single-season home run mark by launching 73 longballs in 2001. The San Francisco slugger left baseball after the 2007 season, ending his career with a record 762 career home runs, surpassing Hank Aaron’s long-standing record of 755.
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