Yesterday, I took a trip across town to the U.S. District Courthouse here in Washington, DC to see the show. What show, you ask? Roger Clemens—“The Rocket,” as he’s known in baseball circles—is on trial for perjury. Yesterday was the opening act: jury selection and some evidentiary issues in the morning, supposedly followed by both opening arguments in the afternoon.
In former Senator John Edwards’ trial, opening statements have concluded and Edwards’ former staffer, Andrew Young, is currently on the stand, according to the Greensboro, North Carolina, News & Record. Assistant United States Attorney David Harbach emphasized Edwards’ deception and manipulation of those around him in order to preserve his chance to become President.
The Roger Clemens [re]trial officially kicked off on Monday, though it still has yet to get started. Today marks day three of jury selection. New York Daily News sports investigative reporters Michael O’Keeffe and Nathaniel Vinton are tweeting live covereage of jury selection from the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C. (@NYDNSportsITeam).
Even though the US Attorneys’ Office committed an error in the first trial for perjury, Roger Clemens will be facing another trial for perjury for allegedly lying to Congress (Clemens faces second perjury trial in April).
US District Judge Reggie Walton set a new trial date of April 17, in the opening weeks of the 2012 baseball season, on charges Clemens lied under oath to Congress in 2008 when denying he took performance-enhancing drugs.
In the world of “star justice,” Roger Clemens’ trial for lying to Congress started out looking like “must see TV.” It quickly fell apart and the court declared a mistrial based on the failure of the prosecutors to play by the rules. Only six days into the trial, and on only the second day of testimony, prosecutors apparently defied a court order and presented prejudicial hearsay testimony the judge had already barred from trial. The judge specifically found that the government’s conduct had placed the case in a posture where Clemens could not get a fair trial from the seated jury. But could he get a fair trial from another jury? Will the government get a second chance to convict the baseball superstar?