Roger Clemens Acquitted in Perjury Trial

by tylercook on July 10, 2012

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On Monday, June 18, 2012, a jury determined that Roger Clemens was not guilty of perjury.

Clemens’s legal saga had been going on for more than four and a half years. In 2008, Clemens testified before Congress, claiming that he had never used performance-enhancing drugs. After hearing testimony from a trainer who claimed he had injected Clemens with steroids, the Justice Department charged Clemens with perjury and obstruction of Congress.

After the prosecution attempted to present evidence that was inadmissible, the judge declared a mistrial in 2011. The prosecution successfully pursued a retrial.

Clemens’ Career

In his 24 seasons pitching for the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Socks, Clemens won 354 games. He pitched 4,672 strikeouts, the third-highest number of strikeouts of all time. He is known as “The Rocket” for his fastball pitches. He won seven Cy Young Awards during his career.

Clemens’ achievements made him an almost certain inductee into the Hall of Fame. However, the allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs likely cost him votes. Even with his acquittal, his reputation has been marred during the ongoing trial.

The Trial

Brian McNamee had served as Clemens’ conditioning coach for a period of time. He testified before Congress in 2008, claiming that he had injected Clemens with human growth hormone (HGH) and steroids. According to McNamee, the substances were used to help Clemens recover more quickly from his workouts. McNamee was the star witness for the prosecution. He claims that he had saved evidence from a 2001 injection that he had given to Clemens. The evidence did not provide a conclusive match to Clemens’ DNA.

Prosecutors argued that Clemens had lied to Congress when he testified that he had never taken performance-enhancing drugs. They argued that Clemens lied in order to protect his reputation and maintain his chances of being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Their case began to unravel after Andy Pettitte, a former teammate of Clemens, retracted his earlier testimony. Pettitte said he could not say with certainty that Clemens had told him he used HGH during a conversation they had more than a decade ago.

Rusty Hardin was the lead attorney for Clemens’ defense team. The defense team argued that Clemens’ success was due to his exceptional work ethic, not performance-enhancing drugs. The defense also questioned McNamee’s credibility, suggesting that he had faked evidence.

Clemens did not testify in his defense.

The trial lasted nine weeks and included testimony from forensics experts and former teammates. The jurors essentially had to decide whose version of the story they believed: Clemens or McNamee. The jury deliberated for close to 11 hours over the course of two days before issuing their not guilty verdict.

Had the jury found Clemens guilty of all six counts that he faced, he could have served as many as 30 years in prison.

Second High-Profile Case Questioning Baseball Player Steroid Use

The Clemens acquittal is the second loss that the Justice Department has suffered when attempting to prosecute a baseball star for using performance-enhancing drugs. Barry Bonds was convicted last year of obstruction of justice. Bonds allegedly lied to a grand jury when he testified that he had not knowingly taken performance-enhancing drugs. In Bonds’ case, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on counts related to his alleged perjury.


This article was written by Karl Stockton for the team at Contact them in the future for your legal needs.




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