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Clemens Trial Strikes Out

Judge rules that legal fouls by prosecution violated baseball star's rights.

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All over for now.
Photo via badlawyernycl

By Alex Beall

07/14/11

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Steroid-scarred baseball star Roger Clemens’s case was declared a mistrial this morning after the prosecutors revealed evidence that the presiding judge, Reggie Walton, thought would unfairly prejudice the jury against the ex-baseball pitcher. Prosecutors violated the judge's warnings twice: first showing a video that referenced a conversation between Andy Pettitte, Clemens’s former teammate, and Pettitte’s wife Laura. The judge was further enraged when an attorney said two of Clemens’s other  teammates also used performance enhancing drugs.  Andy Pettitte said Clemens’s had told him he was using human growth hormone in 1999 or 2000, and said that he had related this conversation to his wife, Laura. Though Walton did not want the conversation between Andy and Laura Pettitte referenced because she did not speak directly to Clemens, the video of Clemens’s testimony to Congress in 2008 that was shown to the jury included Laura’s testimony.  Walton thought the second offense would persuade the jury that Clemens was guilty by association, ESPN reported. Walton didn’t think asking the jury to disregard the evidence was sufficient to protect Clemens, and called a recess. He proceeded to rule a mistrial.

Clemens was accused of perjury about taking performance enhancing drugs and then lying about it to Congress, as The Fix previously reported. His trainer, Brian McNamee, said he had injected Clemens with drugs, but attorneys for Clemens fired back, calling McNamee a liar. “We expended a lot of your taxpayers money to reach this point,” Walton said to the courthouse. “Unfortunately there are rules we play by and those rules are designed to insure that both parties receive a fair trial." There were only two strikes against the prosecutors, but it was enough for the judge to call the trial out. Walton has scheduled a hearing on September 2 to determine if a new trial will be held.

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