Results tagged ‘ Trial ’
By Matt Snyder @ CBSSports.com
I haven’t been paying overly close attention to the Roger Clemens trial.
I’m not sure if it’s because I’m so sick and tired of hearing about the steroid era’s taint or if it’s because there’s no way I could take a side — seriously, a person with the morality of Roger Clemens vs. a government wasting a colossal amount of time and money … as usual?
What’s the right choice there?
Anyway, something has finally caught my eye: According to the Associated Press story from Tuesday, a second juror has been kicked off the jury for falling asleep.
I don’t know how to react to that, other than to laugh. I mean, we’ve all been there before — whether it’s a college philosophy lecture, an insurance seminar or a simple boardroom meeting.
You know the feeling. Your eyes just keep falling shut and you can’t shake it. Maybe your pen falls to the ground and the sound startles you awake, or maybe someone close to you coughs or sneezes loudly, jarring you awake. But those are only temporary. As long as you’re caught in that seat for a prolonged period of time with that nodding off feeling, there’s no fighting the heavy eyes.
And two jurors on the Clemens trial have succumbed to it.
Boy, the testimony must be riveting — maybe I should watch more Court TV than baseball. In the meantime, might I suggest some Homer Simpson glasses pictured above to the remaining jurors?
By Craig Calcaterra @ Hardball Talk
Last week a lot of people got it totally wrong about Andy Pettitte when they said that he changed his testimony on the stand during the Roger Clemens trial. As I demonstrated with reference to Pettite’s actual 2008 testimony, Andy Pettitte did not change a thing about his testimony. He was entirely consistent.
Jon Heyman was one of the guys who got it wrong then, Tweeting that Pettitte “suddenly” changed his testimony. I guess that’s understandable as a heat of the moment reaction, especially given how it was being played up initially on Twitter and elsewhere. But now Heyman has had a week to actually, you know, look at the facts. And he either hasn’t bothered to or else he has and doesn’t care, because he’s still wrong:
Suddenly on the stand in federal court last week, Pettitte changed his story about Clemens. And remarkably, he changed it from one day to the next. It is fair to assume he wasn’t being completely truthful one of those two days.
Under questioning by government lawyers, Pettitte, who’s trying for a baseball comeback with the Yankees, said Clemens told him about Clemens’ own HGH use while the pair were working out together back in 1999 or 2000. That was a powerful point against Clemens.
Then only one day later, under questioning by Clemens’ lawyers, Pettitte said he may have misunderstood the key HGH conversation. In fact, it’s now 50-50 he misunderstood, he answered to Clemens attorney Michael Attanasio. “I’d say that’s fair,” Pettitte lamely answered to Attanasio.
He goes on to accuse Pettitte of “bending the truth” to help a friend. He calls Pettitte’s testimony a “pathetic change-up,” “sudden amnesia,” and a “lame, less-then-honest performance.” There is something lame, pathetic and less-than-honest here, and it’s Heyman’s approach to this story.
As I demonstrated last week, Pettitte’s answers at trial were entirely consistent with his 2008 testimony. He did not change it. He did not say “50/50″ in 2008 because he was not asked to put a probability on the matter then. Why? Because he wasn’t being cross examined in 2008, he was being deposed. It’s a basic legal point that Heyman would understand if he took a moment to understand basic legal procedure. Not that he has to, of course. But if you’re going to go accusing people of perjury as Heyman clearly does here, you probably should.
The point here is that there is absolutely nothing inconsistent with Pettitte’s 2008 testimony and his “50/50″ testimony last week. In 2008 he said he was uncertain. Last week he said he was uncertain. Last week, however, someone thought to ask him how uncertain. They suggested “50/50″ and Pettitte agreed. If only a government lawyer preparing the witness had thought to ask him that maybe they wouldn’t have called Pettitte to the stand in the first place.
Heyman goes on to say that this is the last straw for Pettitte’s Hall of Fame case in his eyes. That he may have voted for Pettitte despite his win total and his HGH history because the postseason performances were so money that they outweighed it. But now?
Now, though, his own sympathetic HGH story comes into serious question. If he’s willing to suddenly misremember under oath for a good buddy, it’s easy to think now Pettitte only admitted to what he had to admit to. Maybe Pettitte isn’t quite the truthteller we gave him credit for, and maybe there is some other explanation for how his fastball velocity increased to 93/94 mph somewhere in the middle of his career. I’d say the chances are 50-50 (at best) that Pettitte misremembered his own supposedly very limited usage.
Setting the “Pettitte used more steroids than he said he did” accusation aside, this is Jon Heyman, publicly changing his Hall of Fame vote for Andy Pettitte based on something (i.e. a change in sworn testimony) that never happened.
I guess this shouldn’t surprise us coming from a guy who still thinks, evidence be damned, that Jack Morris pitched to the score and that Bert Blyleven wasn’t a very good pitcher.
I mean, at least he never accused Blyleven of committing a crime.
by Craig Calcaterra @ Hardball Talk
Roger Clemens’ lawyers filed a motion yesterday asking to be allowed to tell the jury just how bad a dude Clemens’ main accuser — Brian McNamee — really is. It came in the form of an opposition to the government’s motion in limine, which is the government’s attempt to keep the jury from hearing about just how bad a dude McNamee is. This is a really, really important motion. I’ll explain why in a second.
But first, the legal setting:
The issue of whether a witnesses’ past bad acts can be mentioned comes up in tons of cases, especially criminal ones. At issue is always the same argument: one side says that just because the witness has been involved in some past shadiness doesn’t mean that what he’s saying isn’t true, so mentioning that shadiness is unfair and could unduly prejudice the jury.
Underlying all of this is the notion that, hey, criminals associate with scumbags, and if every witness’ dirty laundry were aired, it would be really hard to get convictions. Let us put a bad guy on the stand so we can get a worse guy, OK?
The other side says, nope, that past shadiness goes to the witnesses’ credibility, and the jury can’t properly weigh his testimony unless they know who they’re dealing with. Sometimes the past acts are allowed into evidence (in the form of cross examination) sometimes not (the cross examiner is not allowed to say anything). It’s up to the judge.
But while this is a common fight, in the Roger Clemens case it is an extremely critical one. Indeed, the entire case likely turns on it. Why? Because the government’s entire case is based on Brian McNamee, really, and if he is not believed by the jury — if they think he is not credible and/or generally sleazy — it’s virtually certain that Clemens will skate.
So what is it that the government doesn’t want the jury to know about Brian McNamee?
One of them we’ve talked about at length: McNamee was once questioned by police in Florida about a rape allegation. While there were never any charges filed, the police did note in their report that they believed he was lying to them.
That could be highly relevant in terms of McNamee’s credibility — if he’d lie to cops, why wouldn’t he lie to investigators, Congress or this jury? — but because the rape angle is so sensational, any information the jury could use about McNamee’s credibility could conceivably be outweighed by their visceral reaction to the context. That will be a tough call for the judge.
But there are more. In the motion, Clemens’ lawyers make reference to the following:
“… police misconduct at the NYPD, purported substance abuse and addiction, a conviction for driving while intoxicated, indebtedness and collection actions, tax fraud, prescription drug fraud and distribution, loan fraud, and breaking and entering.”
Some of that stuff is clearly out because it’s only possible use is to make McNamee look like a scumbag. Some of it, however, like fraud, could go to the man’s credibility and propensity to lie and/or concoct phony evidence such as syringes stored in soda cans.
The prosecution’s case in chief is currently underway and McNamee will soon take the stand, so the judge is going to have to decide all of this soon. And given how important McNamee is as a witness, when he does, he may very well be deciding Roger Clemens’ legal fate.