Roger Clemens is now a free man thanks to the lawyers prosecuting the case. Judge Reggie Walton stopped court this morning because of complaints from the defense attorneys about prosecutors’ use of information the judge had banned. The Judge quickly accepted their concerns and then declared a mistrial.
Clemens’ defense attorneys had raised objections to prosecutors’ showing jurors extended parts of Clemens testimony on Feb. 13, 2008, which referenced conversations between Andy Pettitte and his wife about the use of HGH, a substance banned in baseball. The issue in question is whether Clemens lied to investigators three years ago that he never used steroids.
Before calling recess, Judge Walton scolded prosecutors for not editing down portions of the testimony, saying, “I made a ruling that statements that Mr. Pettitte made to his wife could not be admitted. This clearly runs afoul of my pre-trial rulings.”
The problems started for the persecution when the jury saw a clip from Pettitte’s congressional testimony in which a member of Congress read aloud Pettitte’s deposition as part of the congressional inquiry. The controversial segment that was presented to the jury included Pettitte’s testimony where he said, “In 1999 or 2000, I had a conversation with Roger Clemens in which Roger told me he had taken human growth hormone. This conversation occurred at his gym in Memorial, Texas. He did not tell me when he got the HGH or from whom, but he did tell me that it helped the body recover. I told my wife Laura about the conversation with Roger soon after it happened.”
In his congressional testimony, Roger Clemens, said that he and Pettitte had talked about HGH when Clemens had seen a tv show that showed older men getting their quality of life back after using the substance. “I believe Andy has misheard … I think he misremembered.”
When court resumed after recess, Judge Walton said he had no choice but to declare a mistrial. “There are rules that we play by and those rules are designed to make sure both sides receive a fair trial.”
The judge went on to say that he was sorry that they had wasted so much of the jury’s time and taxpayer money. During the opening statements, Clemens’ defense attorney, Rusty Hardin, said that the government had used 103 law enforcement agents, five prosecutors, 229 investigative reports at 72 locations during the course of the investigation.