June 18, 2012

Roger Clemens — not guilty.

The charge was perjury — in telling Congress that he'd never used steroids or human growth hormone.
It was a major, especially painful, defeat for the government in its second failed attempt at convicting a player whose legal problems highlighted baseball’s continuing drug woes....

Last spring, Clemens’s initial trial ended in a mistrial on only the second day of testimony when prosecutors bungled by showing the jury inadmissible evidence. Critics said the prosecution of an athlete like Clemens — a seven-time Cy Young Award winner — was a waste of government time and money, but the United States attorney’s office in Washington pressed forward anyway.

This time, the trial lasted much longer. The jurors heard from 46 witnesses over more than eight weeks....

54 comments:

chuckR said...

This ranks right up there with Lindsay Lohan's antics.

I. Don't. Care.

Congress lies to us all the time.

chuckR said...

I do care about Congress lying to us, though.

Shanna said...

What a waste of time and money!

Blue@9 said...

Well duh, how can you convict Clemens when the AG lies to Congress every time he opens his mouth?

Jay said...

For the government, the acquittal was yet another embarrassing disappointment in a string of failures regarding the investigation or prosecution of high-profile athletes.


Hahahahaha!

But they'll run the health care system just fine!

A. Shmendrik said...

The only reason I care about Lindsay Lohan's antics is that I have her in the dead pool at age 27, not 25 or 26. She has to hang in there for about a year and a half for me to see ka-ching!

rhhardin said...

It may be reasonable doubt, or it may be jury nullification for pointless charges.
Lying to a government official ought to be a good deed, not a crime.

jimbino said...

I thought that if you weren't a Black Male, you automatically got off.

edutcher said...

Pro football and baseball lost me with the unions and players' strikes and free agency, but I always wondered what business Congress had sticking its nose in steroid abuse, which The Blonde said would get all the user eventually.

Robt C said...

I wonder how many hundreds of thousands (millions?) Clemens has spent on legal fees fighting these charges. The gov't should have to reimburse him--and others like him. People can beat the rap but go broke in the process, and the prosecutors just go back to their offices and look for someone else to hassle.

ricpic said...

Clemens is not guilty by virtue of an immense talent that puny congresscritturs can only envy and attempt to get even with by tearing him down. Doesn't mean he's a good person, he happens to be a shit, but a shit with immense talent.

BarrySanders20 said...

Metaphor alert.

I like it when the federal prosecutors get a little chin music. It keeps 'em honest. They've been leaning out over the plate far too long, confident in their batting average of convictions to trials ratio.

I don't know if Clemens juiced. He probably did and he probably lied about. But I am happy the government lost.

Henry "Pygmalian" Waxman is a prick. The jury just told him that Congressional inquiries into baseball is a waste of time and money.

robinintn said...

Running guns, enforcing election fraud, setting up secondary charges with no underlying crime...what else can be expected from the Justice Department?

Michael K said...

The steroid use thing should be a matter for the sport, records and so forth. Congress has enough to do to try to get the economy moving.

cassandra lite said...

Operation Furious and Furiouser.

Darcy said...

Yay!

I've always been a fan of his, and I don't care whether he did steroids* AND because I felt like Congress had no business hauling these guys in to testify like that. Ambush. None of their business.

Don't care. Glad he was found innocent of a charge brought by a politically motivated witchhunt.

*I don't care about the steroids. Not because it doesn't affect his record, in my eyes. It does cloud that. I don't care because I am no better than this man. Not in any way.

Tim said...

jimbino said...

"I thought that if you weren't a Black Male, you automatically got off."

And Barry Bonds says, "That's what I'm talking about!"

JAL said...

I ask the hubby who is a sports person what Congress has to do with baseball.

It is a mystery.

I would be much happier if the US Cngress stopped trying to manage the national sports teams and their behaviors and do their job. And that would mean NOT using the Commerce Clause except in the narrowest sense.

They could start by passing a budget (!!) which addresses the huge problems we have right now economically, gutting the regulatory purgatory we live in, (including limiting instead of feeding the cancer of the misused Commerce Clause.)

-----------------------------
From our friend Wiki-p:

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.


----------------------

They supposed to work for us, remember?

traditionalguy said...

Since Sherman's Army came through, the Government of Lincoln in DC has taken the attitude of a conquering power in all its dealings with its conquered citizens.

Clemens needs to tell the Thug Federal DAs to go to hell. And repeat that several times.

The use of perjury Crime because a man says he did not do a criminal act he is being investigated for but that cannot be proved,is the ultimate Federal DA's abuse of power.

Everybody knows that the politicians are just jealous of Clemens for being a real man and not a slick actor like them lying every time he/she speaks.

JAL said...

Make that "They're ..."

MarkD said...

Jury nullification in action.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

No one could ever accuse Roger Clemens of juicing.

Not possible. No how. No way anyone could ever accuse him of anything like being a hothead or roid rage or anything of the sort.

Nope, nothing here. The man drinks warm milk before bed.

Chip Ahoy said...

I don't know what you guys are talking about. My favorite part was were Roger Clemens wrote Tom Sawyer whitewashing a fence and all these guys kept coming around to jeer at Tom for being stuck out there working but Tom made them all think it was fun. Ha ha ha. That was cool.

PETER V. BELLA said...

What a waste of money.

Chip S. said...

I'll admit it. I despise Roger Clemens--known in Boston as the Texas Con Man.

Since I'm not too crazy about the feds, either, I'm not sure how I feel about this.

Oh, wait--yes I do: Putting Clemens in the slammer would've been one of the top ten Congressional acts in this century.

Now that fat fuck will be all over the place whining about his innocence, and as Don't Tread suggested, getting all 'roid ragey about it. Hell, the jurors were probably afraid he'd throw a baseball bat at them if they voted to convict.

David said...

Of course Congress lying to us is not a crime.

SteveR said...

I suppose I'm jaded enough by what baseball allow to happen, to only care that he never gets into the HOF. Him and several others whose stats were blown up. Clemens was a great pitcher without enhancement.

john said...

Well, they kind of had get this Clemens thing wrapped up anyway.

Get things ready for Lance Armstrong.

ndspinelli said...

He's a lying sack o' shit. However, I know how difficult proving something beyond a reasonable doubt can be. Pettite hedged on the stand, that killed the prosecution.

Darcy, one of my pet peeves. He was not "found innocent" but not guilty. I wouldn't call you on it if it wasn't a pet peeve of mine.

Lem said...

Roger Clemens should not be inducted in MLBs Hall Of Fame.. ever.

David said...

This is a just verdict. The evidence was very weak. No direct physical evidence whatsoever, and the only testimony was from an entirely unreliable witness.

Why was this case even prosecuted? I'll tell you why. It's for the personal glory of the prosecutors. They have an intrinsic conflict of interest because victories in high profile cases lead to seven figure incomes in private practice. Throw in the intrinsic urge to power and hubris of the federal government and the "Justice" Department in particular, and you have a template for abuse. The higher ups should be monitoring things to curb abuses, but higher ups--especially the temporary political appointments or the long term politicized double agents--are among the worst offenders.

This is an ongoing scandal that no one dares confront.

(Rusty Hardin, Clemens' lead lawyer, was a college classmate of mine. Way to go, Rusty. You deserve a Medal of Freedom but won't get one.)

Chip S. said...

I agree, Lem, but I think this verdict is his red carpet.

James Pawlak said...

I suggest all read and act upon:

Silverglate, Harvey; "Three Felonies A Day: How The Feds Target The Innocent"; Laissez Faire Books.

Darcy said...

Oops! Nick. LOL. You're so right. I work for a law firm. Shhh. ;-)

Alex Ignatiev said...

This is the best possible result.

I hope everyone of these chicken-shit prosecutions ends this way. What a waste of time and taxpayer money. Panem et circenses? Circenses et circenses, more like.

David said...

dspinelli said...
He's a lying sack o' shit. However, I know how difficult proving something beyond a reasonable doubt can be.


Especially when the government's evidence is so weak that the case never should have been brought in the first place. Their main witness was a slime bag. Pettite was confused at best, and his knowledge of the facts was very thin.

This really was just verdict, though the prosecution overall was a big injustice.

Alex Ignatiev said...

Also, I hate baseball. So this is a double-plus-good result for me.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Clemens won't make the 'hall'.

The ’rocket’ and will end up in his own hall of 'infamy', methinks.

Can't argue with the stats, etc. he compiled, he was a helluva pitcher. Too bad he was a jerk, too. Politics matter in life and jobs, and though the 'hall' has its share of jerks there are none so identifiable as they are from this era.

Chip S. said...

Yeah, Pettite was "confused". That's the ticket.

It's fair to question why there was a Congressional hearing on steroids in baseball in the first place, but given that there was one I don't quite get all the indulgence here for (possible...ha ha) perjury.

Clemens could've just kept his mouth shut, like most of the others called to testify, but he's such a congenital liar that he couldn't just STFU. His ticket to Cooperstown was at stake.

I don't know if Rusty Hardin is a good lawyer or not, but I'm guessing he's got a hell of a bag man on the payroll.

Bertram Wooster said...

Lying to congress is a commendable act. I would hang any jury I was lucky enough to serve on in such a case. I would consider myself even more fortunate if I had the chance to lie to them myself.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Forget Clemons, anybody ever hear about Wade Boggs drinking 72 beers (when you drink 72 12oz cans "beer" has an added "s") on a cross-country flight?

I'd like to see him testify to that under oath.

AllenS said...

Bertram Wooster said...
Lying to congress is a commendable act. I would hang any jury I was lucky enough to serve on in such a case. I would consider myself even more fortunate if I had the chance to lie to them myself.

Well said.

Chip S. said...

@BertieW and AllenS--Do you feel the same way about Eric Holder?

ndspinelli said...

ChipS w/ a left cross and right uppercut for the knockout!

William said...

I think it's self indulgent for ordinary people to get face lifts, but I would give actors who want another million dollar paycheck a pass on cosmetic surgery. I would be critical of any ordinary person who took steroids to have bulging biceps, but for a professional athlete hoping to get an edge, the offense is more understandable. I suppose he's cheating on the opponent who doesn't use steroids, but I'm not so sure that such a person exists. Philosophical question: was Roger Clemens cheating when he pitched to Barry Bonds? Should they have a special styrofoam addition to the hall of fame for all the steroid users?

Jose_K said...

Racism. Bond guilty. Braun and him not guilty

David said...

Hardin had a bag man? Where do you come up with that, Chip? Are you projecting, and just fond of saying of things you have no basis in fact for?

You are accusing a man of corruption without any evidence whatsoever.

Maybe you should become a federal prosecutor.

Cedarford said...

Lem said...
Roger Clemens should not be inducted in MLBs Hall Of Fame.. ever
=============
Cheating is part of the game. The Hall of Fame has several notorious spitballers and ball doctorers. We know that Mickey Mantle and Willy Mays and Hank Aaron perservered through injury with the help of steroids and serious painkillers that get you 15-30 if you are caught with enough of them.

The "Steroid Era" was the worst secret in sport, and it continues in college and pro football. (No, there was not a sudden mutation in humanity that explains why linemen went from 240-260 to 320 lbs in callege Div 1A.) No, the public (and certainly not the coaches and owners paying, hiring, and firing the employees according to expectations).. was not stupid on what fueled the cherished McQuire-Sosa home run derby or how Hero Barry Bonds was "seting history each day!" ...or how a 180lb utility infielder on the cusp of being cut shows up the next year showing 235 lbs of muscle and bone and home run power and gets a 3-year 960,000 dollar contract instead of a ticket back to the used car lot as yet another ex-jock salesman.

Maguro said...

Yeah, Pettite was "confused". That's the ticket.

It's fair to question why there was a Congressional hearing on steroids in baseball in the first place, but given that there was one I don't quite get all the indulgence here for (possible...ha ha) perjury.

Clemens could've just kept his mouth shut, like most of the others called to testify, but he's such a congenital liar that he couldn't just STFU. His ticket to Cooperstown was at stake.

I don't know if Rusty Hardin is a good lawyer or not, but I'm guessing he's got a hell of a bag man on the payroll.


I don't think it's a matter of genius lawyers or corruption, the government just had a really weak case against Clemens. Star witness Pettite wouldn't even testify that he saw Clemens use HGH, just that he had discussed it with him. In a less politicized case, this never would've been prosecuted.

Cedarford said...

Another pleasure in this, given all the country's serious problems is that "Nostrils" Waxman, Hollywoods bagman to the Dem Party...had his whole Shock!! and Outrage!! circus become the laughingstock it deserved to be.

Too bad the juiced up jocks can't sue him....but little Henry Waxman should hope he never bumps into Clemens, Sosa, or some gargantuan black Miami linebacker in some dark alley.

Eric said...

Hmmm. The government may not have done such a great job presenting its case, but does anyone really believe Clemens didn't lie when he said he didn't use steroids?

Chip S. said...

@David--Someone who writes that Rusty Hardin deserves a Medal of Freedom is clearly familiar with hyperbole as a rhetorical device. So spare me the faux indignation about your little buddy and his good name. The "bag man" bit was--obviously, I thought--a reference to Andy Pettite's "gee, I dunno" testimony.

@Cedarford--It's not clear from the way you worded your comment whether you're accusing Hank Aaron of steroid use or not. It's the first time I've heard anything like this, so how about a link?

Unless it was hyperbole, of course.

Kirk Parker said...

Chip S.,

Personally, I think you ought to lay off C4 when he's giving the Jooos a rest.

Lucien said...

Hard not to think that this was an example of prosecuting the person, not the crime.

Every AUSA should have to recite, from memory, Robert Jackson's speech to the US Attorneys when he was AG.

Maybe some of them would get the point.