A Very Special Episode of Arli$$ – Let the Roger Clemens Jury Selection begin!

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Trish Vignola

The perjury retrial of Roger Clemens is back and more ridiculous than ever. This Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton allowed the feds to respond to a filing from Clemens’ lawyers over the potential testimony of former/future Yankee and Ex-Clemens’ teammate – Andy Pettitte. Do I smell a very special episode of “Arli$$” here?

Pettitte is expected to testify that Clemens acknowledged using human growth hormone (HGH_ in the early 2000′s. In 2008, Clemens famously told Congress that Pettitte “misremembers” their conversation. Pettitte is also expected to say that he tried HGH himself a few years later. Remember that awkward YES Network press conference?

Prosecutors ultimately wants Pettitte to testify that he got the HGH from Clemens’ former strength trainer, Brian McNamee, who allegedly injected Clemens with steroids and HGH. Clemens’ lawyers claim that would be “classic ‘guilt by association’ evidence.”

Prosecutor Steven Durham said the source of Pettitte’s HGH was crucial to the story. Durham noted that Pettitte and Clemens frequently worked out together with McNamee over several years. Didn’t Ted Lilly work out with them too? Why isn’t he being called to testify? Oh wait. Who are we kidding?

Judge Walton did not give the defense a chance to respond, opting to return to jury selection. The judge said he planned to rule on the filing Thursday.

Clemens is on trial for charges that he lied to Congress at the 2008 hearing and at a deposition that preceded it. The first attempt to bring the case before the court ended in a mistrial last July when prosecutors played a tape for the jury that contained a short segment of inadmissible evidence. Is it me or is the gang that couldn’t shoot straight prosecuting Clemens’?

The judge originally estimated that the trial would last up to six weeks, but that timeframe is starting to appear optimistic given the pace of jury selection. The court has been working since Monday to narrow the initial jury pool of 90 to 36. From that number, the final 12 jurors and four alternates will be selected. The extra 20 are needed because Clemens’ lawyers are allowed to strike 12 candidates and prosecutors eight. For once, I actually want to be called for jury duty.

By the end of today (Wednesday), 28 potential jurors had survived the first cut while others were sent home for a multitude of reasons. Some were bounced for already having a strong opinion about the case one-way or the other. At last report, Mike Piazza was not called for jury duty.

One potential juror thought last year’s mistrial resulted from inappropriate contact with jurors. Another mistakenly thought that the 2007 Mitchell Report contained references that Clemens’ wife took injections ahead of a photo shoot for Sports Illustrated. Both made the cut. Apparently an IQ test is not needed with this crew.

A recurring theme throughout the week has been potential jurors questioning whether Congress should have been investigating steroid use in sports in the first place. One woman felt the government should be doing “more important things,” but she nevertheless felt “Even if Congress asks you stupid questions, you shouldn’t lie.”
That woman was dismissed. Well, guys! The circus is back in town.

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