Clemens jury selection begins

In many instances, criminal cases do not actually go to trial. As part of a larger defense strategy, your attorney will attempt to get the charges dropped if possible, or to negotiate a plea agreement when appropriate. This is due in part to the difficulties involved in trying a case, which can be a time-consuming, resource-intensive, and tremendously stressful process. One of these difficulties lies in the selection of a jury.

The retrial of former MLB pitcher Roger Clemens is a case in point. Clemens faces accusations of perjury and obstruction of Congress in relation to the steroid scandal that attracted Congressional attention some years ago. Specifically, prosecutors say Clemens lied to Congress when testifying in 2008. Clemens claimed never to have used performance-enhancing drugs.

According to a report by CBS News, some prospective jurors questioned the need for another trial; one called it “a little bit ridiculous.” Another candidate, when asked about the original 2008 investigation, said that she “remember[ed] thinking it didn’t seem to be a great use of taxpayer money.” Both, however, made the cut, and will be called back for further interviews. The selection process became so bogged down that only 13 candidates had been interviewed at all, and just seven were asked to return.

One of the questions asked of prospective jurors may indicate the strategy Clemens’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, may have in mind. According to the report, Hardin asked the candidates whether they could “conceive of a situation in which somebody says something under oath that he believed to be true, which turns out not to be, without telling an intentional lie.”


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