The Chronicle’s Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams (pictured) will avoid jail for possibly as long as a year while a federal appeals court considers their case. Federal prosecutors agreed yesterday not to seek the imprisonment of the pair until the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on their right to withhold confidential sources of grand jury testimony about the use of performance-enhancing drugs by athletes, including Barry Bonds. According to the New York Daily News and the AP, the reporters agreed not to oppose prosecutors’ requests to hold them in contempt of court. The reporters said they were making that concession to move the case into the appeals court on an expedited basis. The appeal could take about a year. In return, prosecutors agreed not to seek imprisonment or any other penalty for contempt until five working days after a three-judge panel rules on the case. The reporters can also seek additional stays from the court during any further appeals.
Reporters avoid prison — for now
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