Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Roger Clemens is Going Down

I cannot believe that Roger Clemens hasn't found a way to avoid going to trial:

The case centers on whether Clemens knowingly lied before Congress in February 2008 when he stated, without equivocation, that he never used steroids, Human Growth Hormone (HGH) or any other illegal performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).
Led by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Butler and Steven Durham (who prosecuted Miguel Tejada for lying to Congress regarding PEDs and obtained a misdemeanor guilty plea), prosecutors will maintain that Clemens repeatedly lied. They intend to prove that through a mix of witnesses, including Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee, and former teammate, Andy Pettitte, and physical evidence, including syringes and other drug paraphernalia that allegedly connect Clemens' DNA to substances he denies using.
Clemens' defense will focus on credibility and recollection issues of the witnesses, such as whether McNamee's checkered past should lead jurors to question his truthfulness or whether Pettitte may have simply misheard Clemens. The defense will also portray the physical evidence -- much of which was provided by McNamee -- as unreliable and possibly tampered.
Prosecutors will need to convince a jury of 12, beyond any reasonable doubt, that Clemens is guilty. While their burden is high, federal prosecutors win about 90 percent of their trials. On the other hand, Clemens has financial resources to wage an expensive and thorough defense that defendants typically do not enjoy.

When faced with such odds, you would think that someone like Clemens would find a way to protect his fortune and his freedom and make a plea deal with the Federal Prosecutor. To persist in trying to vindicate himself like this is more of a commentary on the hubris of Clemens than it is on anything else. I have no doubt in my mind that destroying the credibility of Brian McNamee will be easy; destroying Andy Pettitte is something else entirely. Pettitte will sink Clemens if he tells the truth in court.

Yes, we're all entitled to our day in court, and especially when we have millions of dollars with which we can affect the outcome. Clemens is probably going to wish he had never pushed things this far.

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