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Judge rules mistrial in Clemens' case

You were gone before we knew ye, Roger Clemens trial. Thursday, shortly after the prosecution opened it arguments, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial, saying that a “first-year law student would have known to avoid” this particular mistake.

At question, again was video tape prosecutors played for the jury with Clemens’ testimony from the 2008 Congressional inquiry. The tape was supposed to be a powerful reinforcement for the jury, but in the course of the viewing, one of the congressmen questioning Clemens brought up Andy Pettitte’s comments to his wife about Rocket’s steroids use.

Walton left both sides with strict instructions before the trial that this kind of evidence from former teammates would be inadmissable. Since the jury saw it on a videotape, there was no way to un-prejudice them to the evidence and Walton had to throw the entire trial out. He did not state whether there could be another trial in the future for Clemens, who may run into the double jeopardy protection. Walton will decide on the retrial in a hearing held on September 2.

For now, it looks like Clemens may escape a jail sentence because of Andy Pettitte. After everything that’s come out between those two, could there be a more surprising end to this debacle?

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.