Baseball Great Roger Clemens Perjury Trial Begins
Former New York Yankee, Roger Clemens' perjury trial began Wednesday with jury selection, which is expected to last for another week. The accomplished pitcher is fighting charges that he lied under oath before Congress about his alleged steroid use.
Clemens, the recipient of seven Cy Young Awards, was indicted on April 19, 2010 in federal court on six felony counts, including perjury and obstruction of Congress. He pleaded not guilty and was expected to start trial in April 2011 until his court date was pushed back in December of last year.
Reports of Clemens' supposed steroid abuse surfaced after his former trainer, Brian McNamee, upheld the veracity of 2007's The Mitchell Report, which claimed Clemens used steroids during the 1998, 2000 and 2001 seasons. The 409-page document was part of a project under Senator George J. Mitchell's investigation into illegal steroid and human growth hormone use in Major League Baseball. The report accused 89 players — including teammates Mike Stanton, Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte — of using performance-enhancing drugs during their athletic tenures.
Presiding Judge Reggie Walton has yet to decide if prosecutors can call on testimony from Clemens' former teammates, while Clemens' lead lawyer, Rusty Hardin, is working to disprove McNamee by claiming the trainer tried to blackmail Clemens. The trial is expected to last four to 6 weeks, and if convicted, Clemens could face a maximum of 30 years in federal prison and a $1.5 million fine. He may face a lighter sentence since he has no record of a criminal past.
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