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Friday
Sep022011

Judge Walton Will Allow Retrial for Roger Clemens

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Judge Reggie Walton has allowed a retrial in the case of Roger Clemens which he set to begin on April 16, 2012. Walton had previously declared a mistrial on July 14 after only two days of testimony, when prosecutors defied his order by introducing evidence that Walton had ruled could not be shown to the jury.

During arguments Friday Clemens’ defense attorney Michael Attanasio stated that the prosecutors willfully violated the judge’s order to force a mistrial alleging that they had to, “win at all costs” since they did not like the jury that had been seated and that they had insight into the defense strategy after opening statements had been made in the trial.

In making his ruling Judge Walton said, “I have nothing based on my past experience with counsel that this was their intent … I find it difficult to believe that Mr. [Steve] Durham intentionally violated an order,” Walton said about prosecutor Steve Durham.
 
“I don’t think on the record that we have here -- that there is a double jeopardy bar,” Walton ruled, referencing the 5th amendment of the Constitution.
 
Clemens lawyer argued before Judge Reggie Walton Friday that a retrial was not appropriate since the prosecutors now knew the defense strategy and they said future jury pools would be tainted.
 
Clemens defense attorney Michael Attanasio began his argument before Judge Reggie Walton by saying, “Something has gone wrong here … and that something is a win at all cost mentality.”

Clemens was indicted in August 2010 on charges of obstruction of Congress, perjury and false statements for testimony he gave to Congress in February 2008 regarding the use of performance enhancing drugs, specifically steroids and human growth hormone, or HGH.  Clemens’ former trainer, Brian McNamee, has acknowledged that he injected former teammate Andy Pettitte with HGH in 2002 and 2004 and both men were to be key witnesses for the prosecution against Clemens.
 
When he declared the mistrial in July, Judge Walton blasted the prosecutors after they showed the jury extended parts of Clemens congressional appearance on Feb. 13, 2008, which referenced conversations Andy Pettitte had with his wife Laura Pettitte about the use of HGH.  Before the trial Walton issued a ruling that statements that Mr. Pettitte made to his wife could not be admitted or shown to the jury.

At the end of the hearing Walton said he was very troubled by the events but that the double jeopardy standard had not been met with the record that had been presented to him. Walton set jury selection to begin on April 16, 2012.
 
It is expected the defense team will appeal, Clemens team nor the prosecutors commented when they departed the courthouse since there is a gag-order in place.

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