Jury selection began today in the perjury trial of Roger Clemens.And is may go on for some time since the trick is to find 12 people who have never heard of Roger Clemens, Major League Baseball, Barry Bonds, steroids, ESPN, or Congress.
Reporters David Epstein and TJ Quinn have tweeting from the courtroom today, pointing out many of the questions that have been posed to potential jurors in order to find impartial people to rule on the pitcher’s fate.
(Follow these guys if you have any interest in what’s going on in that courtroom.)
Unlike the Barry Bonds trial, where jurors were asked to fill out a pre-trial questionnaire, jurors are being quizzed directly, which is drawing out the process.
Potential jurors have been asked if they have heard of Clemens or Barry Bonds (or his recent conviction for obstruction of justice); if they or any one they know has ever been a professional athlete; if they think steroids are problem in sports; or even if they have a strong opinion about Congress (where Clemens is accused of lying about his own steroid use.)
Answering “yes” to any of those questions will likely get you dismissed. A personal trainer was set home, presumably because he two much about sports science and muscle building.
They have had some luck. According to Epstein, some of the jurors knew more about Judge Reggie Walton, then they did about Clemens. Walton presided over the Scooter Libby trial, which got a fair amount of attention in Washington D.C.
The actual trial should begin next week, including possible testimony from several MLB players.
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