Pretrial motions filed in Clemens perjury case

Pretrial motions filed in Clemens perjury case

Pretrial motions filed in Clemens perjury case
Government prosecutors filed a number of pretrial motions Monday in preparation for the federal perjury trial of Roger Clemens, while the defense served notice it would not submit motions because any issues should have been resolved before the first attempt to try the former pitcher.

The government met Judge Reggie Walton's deadline of Monday to submit motions by asking the court to rule on several issues before the retrial takes place next month in Washington, D.C. In their filings, the government asked the judge to rule that the defense must refrain from asking the jury to put themselves in Clemens' shoes and making other references the government considers jury nullification, and that he rule that the first trial ending in mistrial should not be an issue that comes before the jury because it is irrelevant.

The retrial of Clemens will begin April 16 in Walton's courtroom at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Opposition to the government motions is due by April 4, and a pretrial hearing is slated for April 13, at which time Walton is expected to rule on the motions set forth Monday.

Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner who was one of baseball's biggest pitching stars in a 24-year career, was indicted in 2010 on six charges of perjury, giving false statements and obstruction of Congress. The charges are based on his 2008 testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in which he denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs.

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In the first attempt to try Clemens last July, Walton declared a mistrial on the second day of testimony after the government showed inadmissible evidence to the jury.

Prior to that attempt to try Clemens, Walton ruled on several issues via pretrial motions from both sides -- including one ruling that an affidavit from Andy Pettitte's wife, Laura, saying she'd heard her husband tell her that he'd discussed with Clemens using performance-enhancing drugs could not come into evidence unless the defense attempted to attack Andy Pettitte's credibility. It was after the prosecution allowed that evidence before the jury that Walton granted a defense motion for mistrial.

In papers filed Monday, the Clemens defense team led by Rusty Hardin gave notice it would not provide further motions because the court ruled on several pretrial motions on July 6, 2011, before the first trial.

"Those rulings should apply with full force in the upcoming retrial," the defense wrote in its notice. "Accordingly, Mr. Clemens will not file any additional pretrial motions at this time because such submissions are neither necessary nor appropriate. There have been no changed circumstances justifying new or more extensive pretrial evidentiary rulings in the eight months since the first trial was cut short because of the Government's conduct."

The government, meanwhile, pointed out several issues brought out during the defense's opening statement that they now say should not be allowed in the retrial, including the mention of possible penalties Clemens is facing, the fact that none of his baseball heroes ever took performance-enhancing drugs and statements that Clemens had given speeches to children about staying away from performance-enhancing drugs.

In reference to the prosecution's request that the previous trial be inadmissible, the government wrote, "At best, references to the prior trial only could foster confusion and sympathy" and that the government "respectfully requests that any prior trial testimony introduced at trial be referenced as testimony from a 'prior proceeding' and that the Court bar all other references to the previous trial."

John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.