Clemens who was`known as “The Rocket” during his 24-year career and won the Cy Young Award seven times as his league’s best pitcher is charged with perjury, false statements, and obstruction of Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs during congressional testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in February 2008. Clemens maintains that he didn’t use drugs.
If convicted, Clemens could face $1.5m in fines and up to 30 years in prison. Judge Reggie Walton of the United States District Court warned the jurors about the high-profile nature of the case. He told the jurors he would not sequester them. He said they had to avoid news and sports programs, but they can read newspapers that have been screened at the courthouse to remove any reference to the case.
To keep the panel from encountering the dozens of journalists at the courthouse, the judge told them they will meet off site each day, ride a bus to a back entrance and use nonpublic corridors. They will be served breakfast and lunch in what was once a judge’s chambers so they don’t have to use the cafeteria where reporters, attorneys and Clemens himself take their meals.
In preliminary discussions before the jury of 10 women and two men arrived, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton reacted sharply when Clemens’ lead lawyer, Rusty Hardin, appeared to refer to the proceedings as a “circus.”
“This is not a circus,” Walton said.
Hardin quickly assured the judge he was talking more broadly about the congressional hearings at the heart of the case, as well as the prosecution. “Do I look suicidal?” Hardin said. During the juror questioning process, both the prosecution and defense reviewed lengthy lists of potential witnesses. Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco, along with Mark McGwire, Andy Pettitte, Sammy Sosa and Wade Boggs are some of the witnesses listed. The people listed may not testify but be referenced during what is expected to be a trial that could last up to six weeks.