- Associated Press - Monday, July 11, 2011

The attorney for Roger Clemens gave his strongest hint yet that the former baseball star may not testify in his trial on charges of lying to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs as he pressed potential jurors not to hold Clemens‘ silence against him.

Several members of the jury pool under selection said they would weigh evidence from both sides before deciding on a verdict. The judge and Clemens‘ attorney had to repeatedly explain the legal principle of innocent until proved guilty and that prosecutors alone bear the burden of proving his guilt.

It’s a common issue in criminal cases, but the comments from Clemens‘ attorney Rusty Hardin show the defense team is at least considering not putting the ex-pitcher on the stand.

“Maybe you won’t get both sides,” Hardin told a government consultant who indicated she wanted to hear Clemens prove his innocence. She eventually said she understood she must start off by assuming he’s innocent until the government con her otherwise.

“Would you require him to testify to find him not guilty?” Hardin asked another panelist.

“I would like to hear from both sides,” she responded.

“That’s the point. Most people would,” Hardin said, and then explained she can’t hold it against him.

“You mean you aren’t going to say anything at all?” she asked.

“We may, we may not,” he said. Under coaching from Hardin, she eventually said she would find him not guilty if she had a reasonable doubt even without hearing from him.