Barry Bonds’ trial on perjury charges commenced in San Francisco earlier today, and if you thought it impossible to find an unbiased jury in the town where Bonds’ most prodigious feats occurred, the following report from the San Jose Mercury News’ Howard Mintz and Bruce Newman hints otherwise (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
It is a panel with a few baseball fans, just a couple who favor the San Francisco Giants, but no one who would paint their faces black and orange. Most chosen said they had no opinion at all about Bonds, and scant exposure to Balco, the defunct Peninsula lab linked to peddling performance enhancing drugs to a wide range of professional athletes, from Olympians to baseball players.
Despite all the hoopla surrounding the trial, one juror, a Martinez woman, wrote of the Bonds and Balco topic: “Today is the first I’ve heard anything at all.” She was picked to consider Bonds’ fate.
It appears all sides found jurors who have not been immersed in the eight-year legal odyssey surrounding Bonds and Balco. Said one juror who was chosen, a 19-year-old college student from Pinole, “My lack of interest helped me with no other knowledge regarding the proven truth.”
The jury is a cross-section of ages and professions, including an engineer, two nurses, an investment firm executive and a phlebotomist, a technician trained to draw blood. On their jury questionnaires, most said they had “no opinion” about Bonds. One juror, an Antioch man, did say he has a “favorable” opinion about Bonds and is a baseball fan. But another juror, a Sonoma woman and perhaps the biggest Giants fan on the jury, confessed to an “unfavorable” opinion about him.