As soon as Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial due to prosecutorial misconduct in the Roger Clemens’ perjury case on Thursday, I pictured the headlines that it would create. There would also be pictures of Clemens outside the Washington courthouse looking like a free man. Of course, all of this came to be as Clemens looked relieved if not jumping for joy. Actually, he should be ecstatic because he is “free” for now, but the case will probably be tried again.
Prosecutors mishandled the case. The judge chided them that the errors made wouldn’t be committed by law students. It is mind-boggling that after so much time to prepare that the prosecutors could make such obvious mistakes. They showed jurors a video of Laura Posada (wife of Yankees catcher Jorge) and they weren’t supposed to do that. “Mr. Clemens has to get a fair trial,” Walton said. “In my view, he can’t get it now.”
So Clemens walked outside with lawyer Rusty Hardin, signed some baseballs, said nothing better than Sgt. Schultz on Hogan’s Heroes, and looked like a guy who just removed a two-ton albatross from around his neck. Of course, Clemens cannot shoot rockets in the air and have a party just yet, since it is very likely that the prosecution will get its act together by September 2, when Judge Walton will have to decide if there should be a retrial.
Some of you may be shaking your heads; some of you are probably happy Rocket got to walk, but it’s not a funny thing happening here. we’re talking about perjury and Congress and justice; this is a serious issue, and maybe Clemens will still face a trial and get jail time. We’ll have to wait and see, but as with the Casey Anthony case, we can’t always get what we want or even what we need.
Happy trials (or is that trails?), Roger.
Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated