US Wants to Bar Mistrial Talk in New Clemens Baseball Trial

Monday, 19 Mar 2012 05:43 PM

 

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WASHINGTON — U.S. prosecutors want any reference to the botched first trial against baseball pitching star Roger Clemens over whether he lied about taking steroids excluded from his upcoming second trial, according to a court filing made on Monday.

Clemens was indicted in 2010 for perjury, making false statements, and obstruction over his testimony to Congress in 2008 in which he denied ever taking steroids and human growth hormones. Prosecutors say they have evidence to the contrary.

In July, Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial in the opening days because prosecutors showed jurors a video clip that included material he had banned from the case unless the information was raised by Clemens' defense team.

"The fact of defendant's prior trial, which ended in a mistrial, is irrelevant," the prosecutors said in a motion with the court. "At best, references to the prior trial only could foster confusion and sympathy."

The new trial is set to begin on April 16 with jury selection. Walton agreed to a new trial after prosecutors said that the error in the first attempt was not intentional.

The allegations that Clemens, who once was considered a shoo-in for the Baseball Hall of Fame, used performance-enhancing drugs has tarnished his record, which included 24 years playing for four teams and winning the Cy Young Award for best pitcher seven times.

Prosecutors also sought to bar other statements by defense attorneys for Clemens during the upcoming trial, including suggestions that the government resources used in the case against Clemens were "excessive or wasteful".

During the first trial, Clemens' defense team referred to more than 100 investigators used in the probe and suggested that the government had spent millions of dollars on the case.

Clemens' chief defense lawyer, Rusty Hardin, was not immediately available for comment. The judge has issued a gag order barring the parties from speaking publicly about the specifics of the case except through court filings.

The case is USA v. Clemens in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, No. 10-cr-223.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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