Nine months after Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial in U.S. v. Clemens, court is back in session. Jury selection begins Monday, April 16 in a trial that is expected to last between four and six weeks. Opening statements are expected by the end of the week, with witness testimony tentatively beginning April 23 or 24.
Former pitcher Roger Clemens was indicted on six counts of perjury, making false statements and obstruction of justice. The first trial began on July 6, but ended before the conclusion of opening statements due to a prosecutorial error. During the prosecution's opening statement, they aired video that had been specifically ruled inadmissible before the trial. The video in question featured one of the Congressmen reading an affidavit of Andy Pettitte's wife, in which she indicated Andy had previously told her Clemens had used HGH. The video was inadmissible due to hearsay.
Clemens' defense team argued the mistake was egregious and and intentional, and thus should not allow for a re-trial. Although Judge Walton scolded the prosecution for a mistake few first law students make, he did acknowledge it could still be an unintentional mistake, and thus allowed for a re-trial.
Judge Walton has made it clear to both sides that he will maintain a firm grip to prevent them from straying too far off the procedural path. While the defense has their complaints about the government's conduct, the government voiced their own complaints about defense attorney Rusty Hardin's actions in pushing some procedural boundaries during the jury selection process and his own opening statement. Given the result of the first trial, both sides will be on sufficient notice in the re-trial.