Home run record holder Barry Bonds was sentenced in Federal Court to 30 days house arrest, 250 hours of community service and a small fine after his conviction for obstructing justice. The Assistant United States Attorney who handled the sentencing, Matthew Parrella, was very upset at what he considered a light sentence and fine that was almost laughable.
United States District Court Judge Susan Illston, who presided over the Bonds trial and sentenced him indicated that because much of his earlier testimony denying steroid use was out of the public eye, she viewed his actions as less serious and used this as a basis for the arguably light sentence in federal court.
Federal sentencings are often highly influenced by both the Federal Probation Department’s recommendations to the judge in the form of Presentence Report or PSR in conjunction with what is often heavy reliance on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The Sentencing Guidelines, which used to be mandatory for judges to follow in issuing sentences, are now only a suggestion to judges and can be used as a guide. However, many judges still follow the guidelines to the letter and chose not to stray from the often harsh sentencing recommendations that were developed many years ago.
To Mr. Bonds I say that you are roll model to many youngsters throughout our nation: Please act accordingly. You should be happy about the light sentence you have received and it is apparent that your lawyers did excellent work for you. Take this opportunity that Judge Illston has given you to be the positive influence that we know you are capable of being. She ordered you to perform community service with children. This is the perfect opportunity to set an example for the youths with or for whom you will working. Good luck.
Mr. Bond’s conviction is presently being appealed by his attorneys.
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