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Clemens mistrial is deja vu all over again
Question of the Day
The federal government charged the seven-time Cy Young Award winner with one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements to Congress and two counts of perjury. Now, the government faces a Sept. 2 hearing when it likely will try to persuade U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to allow a retrial.
Across the country, a different set of prosecutors face an Aug. 26 hearing when Bonds‘ lawyers will argue that U.S. District Judge Susan Illston should throw out the one conviction against the seven-time Most Valuable Player _ that he obstructed justice when he gave an evasive answer to a grand jury in December 2003.
Bonds‘ prosecutors haven’t decided whether to retry the three hung counts. The jury couldn’t come to a unanimous verdict on charges he made false statements when he denied using steroids and human growth hormone and said he allowed only doctors to inject him. But it convicted him of giving an evasive statement when asked whether his trainer, Greg Anderson, ever gave him “anything that required a syringe to inject yourself with?”
Bonds‘ rambling reply stated that “I became a celebrity child with a famous father.” His lawyers argue that he can’t be convicted of that, partly because moments later he was asked “Did either Mr. Anderson or Mr. Conte ever give you a liquid that they told you to inject into yourself” and Bonds responded with a simple: “No.”
Just before closing arguments, one of Bonds‘ lawyers, Dennis Riordan, addressed the possibility of a conviction on the allegedly evasive statements contained in the jury instructions, saying it “would be utterly a farce.”
In the view of Conte, prosecutions of baseball stars has become pointless.
“I just think it’s time for those that make these types of decisions to make a higher and better use of federal taxpayer dollars,” he said.
Walton also had the economics on his mind.
“We’ve expended a lot of your taxpayer’s money to reach this point,” he told the jurors before sending them home.
Derek Jeter, like many, is tired of the wrangling with no end.
“I’m no legal expert but you want it to be behind him,” he said. “Obviously, the more attention that’s paid to that, it’s just negative for the game in general.”
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