Feds Want a Second Shot at Prosecuting Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens/file photo
By Allan Lengel

The D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office wants a second shot at prosecuting ex-pitching star Roger Clemens for lying to Congress about using performance enhancing drugs, saying it inadvertently goofed last month in the first trial when it played a video to the jury on the second day.

A mistrial was declared as a result of the error. The government filed a motion Friday asking for a second trial, and requesting that the judge reject Clemens’ effort to dismiss the charges.

“On the second day of what was expected to be a 4-to-6 week trial, the government mistakenly played a video clip that included evidence this Court had ruled inadmissible, ” the government stated in the motion written by Assistant U.S. Attorney David B. Goodhand.   “At defendant’s request, this Court therefore declared a mistrial. Now, defendant seeks to gain an unwarranted windfall from this inadvertent error. Defendant seeks to bar a retrial, arguing the government did not make a mistake, but rather engaged in deliberate misconduct intended to provoke his mistrial request.

“The record refutes defendant’s claim. Although this crucial fact is nowhere discussed in defendant’s motion, the government vigorously opposed a mistrial. That opposition was natural, because the government had no reason to want a mistrial. The government’s case was – and is – strong.”

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton last month declared the mistrial after the prosecution introduced the video which contained evidence  Walton had barred.  After declaring the mistrial, he said he was going to have to make a determination whether to grant the government a second chance or dismiss the charges.

The brief concluded:

“The record thus shows only that the government made a mistake when it failed to review Exhibit 3b-2 for necessary redactions. And as regrettable as this mistake was, it does not warrant the extreme measures of a prohibition on any retrial and the dismissal of defendant’s indictment.”

Read Government Motion

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