Opening arguments in Clemens trial to start Monday

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens leaves court in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010, after a judge delayed his trial so attorneys can review evidence on charges he lied about using steroids and performance enhancing drugs. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
April 22, 2012 9:06:57 PM PDT
Questioning of potential jurors in the Roger Clemens perjury case was completed Thursday after nearly four days, and opening arguments are set for Monday afternoon.

The judge, prosecutors and defense lawyers settled Thursday on the pool of 36 prospective jurors from which the final 12 jurors and four alternates will be picked on Monday morning.

The extra 20 are needed because Clemens' lawyers are allowed to strike 12 candidates and prosecutors eight, without giving any reason.

Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, is accused of lying to Congress in 2008 when he said he never used performance-enhancing drugs.

Still unresolved is whether Clemens' former baseball teammate Andy Pettitte, who is expected to testify, will be allowed to tell the jury that he got his human growth hormone from the same trainer who allegedly supplied Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens' lawyers claim that would be "classic `guilt by association' evidence," but prosecutors say Pettitte's HGH source is crucial to the story, because Pettitte and Clemens frequently worked out together with McNamee over several years.

Walton had hoped to resolve that issue Thursday but had to recess the trial early because of a previous engagement. He said he would get to the two remaining issues on Monday, presumably that one and another over how far the Clemens team can go in challenging the propriety of the 2008 congressional hearing and how the government can respond to such a challenge. The trial does not meet on Fridays.

The eight prospective jurors who made the cut Thursday included an analyst for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a Treasury Department official and a librarian at the American Council on Education.

Several potential jurors were dismissed Thursday before the court got to the needed 36. Two, who were government employees, said they couldn't be completely impartial in the case. Another was excused after she said she didn't think it was appropriate for the government to prosecute someone for lying to Congress. And a woman was dismissed after saying she did research on the case and wrongly asserted that defense attorneys caused last year's mistrial by showing improper evidence.

In fact, the mistrial was caused when prosecutors played a videotape for the jury that contained a short segment of inadmissible evidence.


Load Comments