We were supposed to have determined by now whether or not Roger Clemens lied under oath during the 2008 congressional hearings on steroid use in baseball. Clemens went to court last summer to stand trial for perjury, making false statements, and obstruction of Congress regarding his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. The case was thrown out, though, because Clemens' prosecutors employed a bit of evidence — a somewhat obscure video clip of the 2008 hearings — that Judge Reggie Walton deemed inadmissible. Everyone was very grumpy about it. Today, a good ten months after the original court date, they'll start all over again.
This time around, Judge Walton has made it perfectly clear that he won't tolerate any diversions or digressions from the legal teams:
“I’ll watch, and if either side goes too far, I’ll give a strong admonition,” said Walton, who has enforced a strict gag order in the case since a few days after the indictment in 2010.
He's referring to both of the prosecutors — Steven Durham and Daniel Butler — and to Clemens's defense lawyer, Rusty Hardin. Hardin is, they say, notoriously charismatic and meandering in his communications ("asides about the Houston Oilers, Roberta Flack and his own family") and has been exhorted to not be so damned cute this time around, or something. Andy Pettitte, by the way, is a key witness for the prosecution and should get called away from his minor-league duties to take the stand again.
Whatever the case may be, the hope among all parties involved is that, years after all this legal stuff started, the court will finally determine Clemens's fate over the next month or so. Clemens stands to face up to 30 years of imprisonment if convicted, but it's believed that his lack of a prior criminal record could limit the sentence to only a year or two in jail. No matter what, Clemens won't be able to separate himself from this stuff until it's actually been sorted out, and even then, he will have a lot of work to do to rebuild his name and reputation.