SAN FRANCISCO -- Home run king Barry Bonds is taking yet another swing at his obstruction of justice conviction.
Lawyers for the former San Francisco Giants' star on Monday asked a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling last month upholding his 2011 conviction for obstructing a federal grand jury that was probing the BALCO steroids scandal nearly a decade ago. Bonds' legal team asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the case with an 11-judge panel.
A three-judge 9th Circuit panel unanimously rejected Bonds' arguments that he was convicted of obstruction for merely providing a rambling, unresponsive answer to a question about whether he had been supplied with performance-enhancing drugs as he chased baseball's all-time home run records. A federal jury convicted Bonds of the obstruction charge but deadlocked on several perjury counts against him that alleged he lied under oath about using steroids.
In asking the 9th Circuit to reconsider the issues, Bonds' lawyers warned that last month's ruling "will function as a way to obtain back-door convictions against witnesses viewed with disfavor by the government even when actual lies on their part cannot be proven."
Bonds, meanwhile, is completing his 30-day sentence of home confinement on an electronic monitoring device. Bonds agreed in September to complete his sentence even as he pursued further legal options to contest his felony conviction.
A majority of the 9th Circuit's 27 full-time judges must agree to rehear Bonds' case and will conduct a secret vote to decide the outcome.
Howard Mintz covers legal affairs. Contact him at 408-286-0236 or follow him at Twitter.com/hmintz.