Barry Bonds' sentence engenders debate

Dec. 19, 2011 at 5:02 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Barry Bonds' sentence of house arrest and community service for lying to a grand jury during the baseball doping scandal "made sense," one legal expert says.

The former San Francisco Giants slugger was sentenced Friday to probation, 30 days' confinement in his Beverly Hills mansion and community service. The punishment for his conviction in federal court stirred debate about whether it was too lenient, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

The sentence was put on hold pending Bonds' appeal of his felony obstruction of justice conviction, a standard practice if the defendant was neither a danger nor a flight risk, University of San Francisco law Professor Robert Talbot said.

Bonds, 47, was sentenced to two years' probation, ordered to perform 250 hours community service in youth-related activities and pay a $4,000 fine.

Although Bonds got less home detention time than others convicted of perjury in the doping probe, the community service would probably "do a lot of good" and the sentence "made sense," Talbot said.

Others disagreed.

The sentence was "a slap on the wrist" and "almost laughable," Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew A. Parrella said.

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