Clemens Judge Begins Screening Jurors for Perjury Retrial
By Tom Schoenberg - Apr 16, 2012 10:36 AM ET
The judge overseeing the trial of Roger Clemens began screening 80 to 90 potential jurors for the ex-Major League Baseball pitcher’s retrial on perjury charges.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton in Washington today began selection of 12 jurors and four alternates by asking 85 questions of the jury pool. Some of the questions involved whether any of the potential jurors knew about the case against Clemens or had read about it in the media.
“We’re merely trying to ensure that the 12 people selected as jurors in this case decide it solely on the evidence produced at trial and no other factors,” Walton said.
Clemens, who played for four different teams over a 23-year career, is charged with one count of obstructing a congressional investigation, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury in connection with a congressional probe of ballplayers’ alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. If convicted on all counts, Clemens, 49, would face as long as 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.
Walton declared a mistrial in July after finding that prosecutors improperly showed the jury a video clip of a 2008 congressional hearing in which the wife of government witness Andy Pettittewas discussed. Walton had ruled earlier that no references to Laura Pettitte, or an affidavit she gave Congress, could be made during the government’s case.
Jury selection is expected to last about three days.
The case is U.S. v. Clemens, 10-cr-00223, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia(Washington).
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