Judge bars secret recording in Barry Bonds’ perjury trial

Former San Francisco Giants baseball player Barry Bonds leaves the federal courthouse after his criminal trial at Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco, California March 29, 2011. The former home run king is facing four counts of perjury and one count of obstructing justice for allegedly lying under oath to a federal grand jury in 2003 about the use of performance-enhancing anabolic steroids. REUTERS/Stephen Lam (UNITED STATES – Tags: CRIME LAW SPORT BASEBALL)

ESPN.com is reporting that a federal judge has barred the jury in the Barry Bonds’ perjury trial from hearing a newly discovered tape recording that prosecutors say would bolster their case that the former slugger knowingly used steroids.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ruled the recording inadmissible because “it’s barely intelligible” and what can be heard is irrelevant.

The tape was a conversation between Bonds’ orthopedic surgeon Dr. Arthur Ting and his former business partner, Steve Hoskins. Hoskins secretly recorded the conversation in 2003.

Prosecutors had hoped to use the tape to win back some of the momentum they lost when Ting severely damaged Hoskins’ credibility.

Ting last week flatly denied Hoskins’ testimony that the pair had about 50 conversations about Bonds and steroids. Ting said the two never discussed that topic.

I love it. There’s a ton of the taxpayers’ money being spent on this trial and the result will likely be that Bonds will have to serve six months probation and no jail time. (Or something to that effect.)

I believe it was the late, great Alonzo Harris from the movie “Training Day” that said: It’s not what you know – it’s what you can prove. The defense in this trial has already stated that Bonds took steroids. Everyone and their brother knows he took steroids. What the defense is trying to prove is that he didn’t knowingly take steroids, and that’s going to be hard to disprove. (Especially when the prosecution is relying on Watergate-like secret tapes that are being barred from use in court.)

Like I said: Probation, no jail time. Book it.

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