Newsday’s Jim Baumbach has been doing an incredible job relaying the events of the Roger Clemens’ perjury trial. His Twitter feed has been providing a veritable play by play of courtroom action, mixed with just the right amount of irreverence for the proceedings.
Earlier today, he tweeted that the Clemens defense team moved for a mistrial after the prosecution in the case showed the jury a video which included references to testimony from Andy Pettitte’s wife, Laura, which had previously been deemed inadmissible. After a short recess, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial, suggesting that the video of Representative Elijah Cummings reading Mrs. Pettitte’s statements from an affidavit would unfairly enhance the credibility of Andy Pettitte’s testimony.
As my current bank balance would indicate, I’m not an expert in legal matters. However, from what I’ve been reading online, it seems as though the prosecution’s mistake was so obvious that it’s either utter incompetence or completely blatant. The judge took the prosecution to the woodshed for their error:
I think a first-year law student would know you can’t bolster the credibility of a witness with clearly inadmissible evidence.
The next step will be a hearing scheduled for September 2nd to address whether or not Clemens can be prosecuted again. I suppose it’s too much to ask that the prosecution learn from this and the previous Barry Bonds trial, and come to the realization that pursuing cases against athletes for possibly lying about performance enhancing drug use is a waste of time and money, even when the defendant is a jerk.