Judge Declares Mistrial in Roger Clemens Perjury Trial
Roger Clemens’ perjury trial was declared a mistrial Thursday by the judge sitting on the case.
According to the New York Times, Judge Reggie Walton said the prosecution “revealed information that he previously deemed inadmissible.”
Judge Walton got angry when the prosecution began playing a tape of the 2008 Congressional hearings focusing on performance-enhancing drugs. Walton was particularly disturbed because the video includes remarks made by Representative Elijah E. Cummings, who questioned the credibility of Clemens’ former teammate Andy Pettitte, who has previously testified Clemens told him he used human growth hormone.
Pettitte was expected to be a key witness for the government in Clemens’ trial. Clemens had been accused of lying to Congress about his using performance-enhancing drugs.
Judge Walton was also incensed the tape featured Cummings reading an affadavit from Pettitte’s wife in which she claimed her husband told her he had spoken to Clemens about using HGH, even though Walton ruled last week her testimony could not be included in Clemens’ trial.
Judge Walton said, “I’m very troubled by this. We’ve spent a lot of money to reach this point. Government counsel should have been more cautious about what was presented so we are not in this situation.”
Ultimately, Judge Walton was too troubled by Cummings’ opinion about Pettitte and the affadavit from Pettitte’s wife — both inadmissible. The judge said, “I think Mr. Pettitte’s testimony is going to be critical as to whether this man goes to prison. And I can’t in good faith leave this case where a man’s liberty is at risk.”
[The New York Times]