The Barry Bonds perjury trial is underway in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, and the prosecution is reportedly already putting jurors to sleep. Government lawyers are so boring. Here's the question today as we settle in for up to a month of testimony that we have no intention of covering: will anybody buy Barry's story? Bonds claims he told a grand jury the truth in 2003, when he said he never knew he was taking steroids. He apparently thought his head and home run total were inflated due to some combination of flaxseed oil and arthritic cream.
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You woudn't think prosecutors have such a tough road to hoe, given all the steroids and syringes they found in Barry's buddy Greg Anderson's home and the multitudes willing to testify that Bonds is, at the very least, a big a**hole. But these things can be trickier than they might appear to the layman. That's why GTOG is lending its legal expertise to an analysis of the 12 men and women who will decide the home run king's fate. Here's how it breaks down:
• Juror 56: Woman, 57, nurse.
• Juror 42: Woman, 19, college student.
• Juror 36: Woman, 25, aid-giver to developmentally disabled.
• Juror 6: Woman, 30, autism support specialist.
• Juror 97: Woman, 27, phlebotomist.
• Juror 69: Man, 68, temporary shipping clerk.
• Juror 66: Man, 60, data center engineer.
• Juror 3: Woman, 51, client service administrator.
• Juror 19. Woman, 26, food server.
• Juror 90: Man, 57, IT manager.
• Juror 73: Woman, 28, nurse.
• Juror 21: Man, 68, retired cashier.
The first thing to note is it's unlikely any of the jurors are big baseball fans, and that's not an inference based on having eight women and four men on the panel. In most parts of the country, the defense probably wouldn't want baseball fans on the jury, because in most parts of the country, baseball fans hate Barry Bonds. But in San Francisco? 99% would be dismissed from consideration because they would openly admit they'd never convict him. Giants fans tend to adore Barry Bonds.
With that baseline, let's look at the women jurors. They look loaded with empathy. The defense has to hope that with an aid-giver to the developmentally disabled, an autism support specialist, and a couple of nurses in the jury room, somebody is bound stand up for the guy who, despite his grotesque mellon, has the voice of a wounded child. On the other hand, those caregivers aren't going to like what they hear from all the witnesses who Bonds has mistreated over the years, and I can't imagine that Bonds will take the stand. Once you look up "phlebotomist" like I just did, you know juror 97 isn't going to approve of what Bonds was pumping into his veins. As for the 19-year-old college student, guarantee you she nodded off during opening statements. She'll go with the flow on this. Finally, you think the food server or the client service administrator is going to rock the boat? Put the 8 women jurors in the prosecution's corner.
As for the men, they're all older, between the ages of 57 and 68. Even though they don't follow the Giants, they may get nostalgic when people talk about baseball, remembering a time before big money, steroids, and free agency. Juror 21 will wipe a tear from his eye as the Assistant U.S. Attorney invokes Hank Aaron's name. Maybe these four will all line up squarely behind the government, too. But watch out for juror 66. Perhaps underneath that yuppified exterior, the 60-year-old data center engineer longs for the California of 1969, when a then-18-year-old had a few things he could count on in this world: illegal drugs, free love, and a thrill-a-minute young outfielder named Bobby Bonds. Three things that tell him, "You must acquit." Just saying.
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