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Question of the day: Should Barry Bonds receive jail time for his conviction? [Updated]

April 15, 2011 | 10:54 am

Bonds_600 Writers from around Tribune Co. weigh in on the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses, vote in the poll and feel free to leave a comment of your own.

Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune

Barry Bonds has to go to jail, if only to serve a few months in the Martha Stewart wing of a well-appointed facility. Otherwise there was really no point to the whole painful exercise that has been the Bonds prosecution and trial. There is a legal precedent arguing against jail time, of course, as two others convicted of perjury in the BALCO affair did not go to jail. But so what? Bonds is different than everyone else for two reasons: He gained so much more financially from the steroid involvement that he never owned up to than cyclist Tammy Thomas and track coach Trevor Graham, who received only home confinement. And he was convicted of obstructing justice despite the government’s key witness, trainer Greg Anderson, going to jail to avoid testifying against him. If Judge Susan Illston does not throw out the conviction -– and ESPN’s Roger Cossack argues that she should -- then Bonds should do some time. 

[Updated at 12:16 p.m.

Nick Fierro, The Morning Call

The government already has wasted enough of our resources trying to embarrass Barry Bonds and the changing size of his various body parts. It doesn't need to put him in prison just to prove another inane point. Even if Bonds had been found guilty on all counts, jail time really shouldn't be an option here. Fines should be. Instead of feeding Bonds three squares a day, how about collecting enough to feed thousands of others who can't feed themselves? On the other hand, anyone not confined to a wheelchair (or worse) who has ever employed a personal shopper (as Bonds did) ought to be given at least a year of hard time just on general principle. Long before steroids entered into baseball's lexicon, Bonds was a jerk. All his steroid use did was confirm it to the masses, who have already seen quite enough.]


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Photo: Barry Bonds. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images