Baseball great Clemens begins trial
Tue, 24 Apr 2012 3:15p.m.
Prosecutors are painting Baseball legend, Roger Clemens as a man who told lies and "other lies to cover up lies" after the court seated a jury that includes seven people who have never heard of the seven-time Cy Young Award winner now being retried on charges of lying to Congress.
Prosecutor Steven Durham made his opening statement on Monday. He called Clemens a "great baseball player" who engaged in a "story of deceit and dishonesty and betrayal" instead of acknowledging alleged use of steroids and human growth hormone.
Clemens is accused of lying - when he said he never used steroids or HGH during his 24-season career - at a 2008 congressional hearing and at a deposition that preceded it.
The case is back in court in Washington, D.C. after a mistrial last year.
On the fifth day of the trial, the court finally seated 12 jurors and four alternates. The 10 women and six men mostly said they didn't follow baseball or know much about Clemens.
In fact, seven said they'd never heard of him.
Their first task was to try to digest prosecutor Steven Durham's description of Clemens' 10-year relationship with strength trainer Brian McNamee, which Durham said became a "story of deceit and dishonesty and betrayal" because Clemens wouldn't acknowledge using steroids and human growth hormone.
Last year's mistrial was called after the government showed the jury a portion of videotaped evidence that had been ruled inadmissible. The costly process of bringing the case back to court has drawn criticism from those who regard it as a waste of government money - a point raised last week by some prospective jurors.
The case largely will hinge on the believability of two contradictory witnesses - Clemens and McNamee. McNamee says he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone; Clemens said he never used either.
The government's case suffered another blow when U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton ruled that Clemens' former team-mate Andy Pettitte can testify about taking human growth hormone, but can't say where he got it from.
Wearing a pinstriped suit, white shirt and silver-striped tie, Clemens took notes throughout the day.
His wife, Debbie, made her first appearance at the trial, sitting among the spectators and getting a hug from her husband during another delay - the court waited 50 minutes for a late potential juror to show up.
Debbie Clemens remained in the courtroom for the conclusion of jury selection, but the judge ordered her - along with any other potential witnesses - to leave during opening statements.
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