Ex-MLB star Roger Clemens' new perjury trial is set to begin in Washington, D.C., as the Cy Young-winning pitcher defends himself again from charges he lied to Congress about steroids.
"Good morning, good morning," Clemens, 49, said to potential jurors Monday in U.S. District Court, Reuters reports.
A federal judge and lawyers on both sides interviewed 20 prospective jurors Monday. It's the first step in Clemens' retrial, after an error by prosecutors derailed his first trial last summer.
Roger Clemens' perjury trial stems from his testimony to Congress in 2008, when the seven-time Cy Young winner pitched denials about using steroids and human growth hormone, Reuters reports.
The use of performance-enhancing substances in pro sports is not a federal crime. But federal prosecutors claim they can prove Clemens was lying to Congress, which is a crime.
At Clemens' first perjury trial in July 2011, prosecutors showed a video that inadvertently included material that the judge had barred from proceedings, unless Clemens' defense team raised it first, according to Reuters. The judge declared a mistrial.
Clemens' new perjury trial began Monday with jury selection and a legal process called voir dire, in which potential jurors are questioned to determine if they're qualified and can serve without bias.
Potential jurors were asked 86 questions, USA Today reports, including whether they:
- Are baseball fans, or have strong opinions about Major League Baseball;
- Have heard about Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong, or other athletes involved in performance-enhancing drug scandals; and
- Have formal training in biology, chemistry, or sports medicine.
As jury selection continues, more than 50 potential jurors are set to be questioned later this week.
Some high-profile baseball stars are on deck as potential witnesses in Roger Clemens' new perjury trial, according to USA Today. They include former teammates Andy Pettitte and Jose Canseco, along with MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.
- What to expect at Roger Clemens' perjury trial, second time around (Sports Illustrated)
- Perjury (FindLaw)
- Roger Clemens Trial: Mistrial Declared by Judge (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)
- Roger Clemens Obstruction Indictment (FindLaw's Courtside)