San Francisco (AP)-Barry Bonds last Sat the entire class on Monday to 12 people that will consider the greatest home run hitter of all time, lied about the drug.
After a selection process using a day, eight women and four men chosen to hear the case against the federal government 46 years old San Francisco Giants star, who is charged with four counts of lying to a grand jury and one count of obstruction of witnesses in 2003 that drugs never knowingly used performance enhancing.
Among the jurors were not without opinion on the steroid era of baseball or drugs in sport, but everything suggests that they could rule impartially in the case of bonds, which holds the record of home runs in a career (762) and a season (73).
Juror No. 69 was angry Congress investigating steroids in sports "on my dime."
"They should solve problems like debt," he said.
He did it on the panel, although he said Bonds was "probably not (had) a fair trial to the court of public opinion."
The jurors were identified by number rather than name, and U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said that their identity not be revealed until the day after the decision.
"We have a fair and impartial jury selected after an open process," said Bonds' lead attorney, Allen Ruby, said in court.
The initial group of prospective jurors who filled out questionnaires to 19 pages last week, Illston rejected 38 is based on responses that included whether they had participated in the Giants game during the last five years and if they were aware of Mitchell report drugs in baseball or congressional hearings on steroid use. Several were rejected because they said they had formed opinions about the case.
Another was abandoned because of the death of a grandmother last weekend, and two others, and it said that a jury would be a limitation. Illston has refused three requests from other difficulties.
Thirty-six underwent 70 minutes of questions Illston in the morning and another hour of prosecutors and defense attorneys in the afternoon. After a pause, Secretary Illston read the 12 numbers and two alternates selected under the four originally planned. Two jurors, both women are black and 10 whites in a case that could see the race to become a problem.
Juror No. 24, a veteran of the Air Force who was not elected, has spoken at the examination. "I think so, it was stressed because of his race," said the man.
Jury N ° 56, one of the selected black women, said that baseball and the NFL office of the High Commissioner should deal with "steroids. "I think they are and not the government to participate," he said.
Bonds, who in his playing relaxed, leaning back in his black leather chair in the corner of the Giants flag, wearing a dark suit, white shirt and tie and money sitting in a swivel chair brunette d approximately 20 feet of the judge the floor 19 of the Phillip Burton Federal Building. Bonds spent most of the day talking quietly with his lawyers and looking at the jurors, as it responds to questions.
A short distance to the prosecution table on his return to the Bonds, Jeff Novitzky, the federal agent who pursued athletes for alleged drug in eight years with a stubborn intensity. Bonds is the biggest star to stand trial because of his efforts.
Bonds' legal team, which extended to a bedside table and the first row of spectator seats, more numerous than the government of 13-5. When his lawyers Elementary, Ruby and Cristina Arguedas C., gave their name to the file, Illston said, "Is this it?"
Arguedas said that the key to the collection of the jurors had been collected, which are only presented evidence of the courts and keep the facts discussed publicly until now.
"These people become real experts," she told reporters.
Bonds earned $ 192,800,000 for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants in 23 professional seasons, including 22 in the majors, according to an analysis of its contracts by The Associated Press, it is not surprising that he can not afford the best defense money can buy.
About a dozen photographers outside the ground, but few fans came to see Bonds' walk from the courthouse.
Several jurors said they could keep an open mind, even if they had heard much about the case because they believed the media about the obligations or inaccuracies or omissions.
However, some of the spotlight in this case, was too much to deal with.
"I would be reluctant to make a verdict on a great athlete as bonds," No. 24, a juror, one man 61-years living on disability benefits, Illston said. "This would be the color of my discernment." He was not elected.
No. 74 Jurado said his experience working as a flight attendant years ago, it would be difficult for her to be fair.
"I'm still on my charters baseball," she said.
Therefore, the procedure could be heard in two other rooms of the palace of justice, secretary of Illston, Tracy FORAKIS, walking with a handheld microphone to speak to jurors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew A. Parrella asked if the jurors were Giants fans, and nine raised their hands. When asked Parrella of the Giants were the study, no one responded. Three of the jurors raised their hands when asked if Bonds had the inspiration or someone to watch.
"It was a good player and all the fans hitting the ability to" juror No. 94 said, adding that because the defendant are treated differently. The woman was not selected.
Illston said the trial should take about four weeks.
When juror No. 94 said she had a trip planned for early April 25th Illston checked his calendar, looked up and said in a surprised voice: "Well, you know, me too"