As ordered by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, the government reentered their indictment of Barry Bonds for perjury and obstruction of justice stemming from his testimony during the BALCO grand jury in 2003. View the new indictment (PDF) here.
When prosecutors first entered the indictment, it contained 19 alleged false statements spread over 4 counts or perjury along with one count of obstruction of justice. Illston agreed with Bonds’ attorneys that some of the statements needed to be removed or the indictment rewritten altogether.
The new indictment contains 15 felony counts in total, 14 counts of “making false declarations to a grand jury” (perjury) and one count of obstruction of justice. There is no new information in the current indictment. Instead, each false statement has been separated into its own count of perjury.
According to ESPN’s Mark Fainaru-Wada (co-author of Game of Shadows), the change from 4 to 14 counts of perjury will not likely affect a possible sentence.
On the face of it, it looks like its worse, but the reality for Bonds is that it’s the exact same. He’s facing the exact same issues. If he were to be found guilty, for example, on all of the counts, experts suggest he’d face the same kinds of maximum sentence. On the innocence he’s facing the same kinds of issues.
Fainaru-Wada also said the new indictment may help Bonds’ defense, though it seems rather insignificant.
One could argue that for the defense this helps, in that they have a much more clear idea of exactly the specific language they have to address on the charges of perjury.