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Jury selection in Roger Clemens perjury trial

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens arrives

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens arrives at federal court in Washington for jury selection in the perjury trial. (April 16, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

WASHINGTON -- Attorneys began jury selection Monday with star-studded lists of potential witnesses and hints of strategies in the retrial of former Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens on charges that he lied to Congress about never using performance-enhancing drugs.

The first day of the second trial of Clemens, the seven-time Cy Young Award winner, began with less fanfare than the first one nine months ago, as U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, federal prosecutors and Clemens' attorney Rusty Hardin began painstaking questioning of potential jurors.

Six members of the potential jury were excused, and seven retained.

Among the potential witnesses listed were former major-leaguers Jose Canseco and Barry Bonds.

The exchanges with potential jurors showed that defense lawyers and prosecutors could have hurdles to overcome in making their cases. Some potential jurors said they believe steroid use is prevalent in professional sports but also that Congress has more important things to do than worry about steroids in baseball.

"Congress should focus on other issues that are so much more important," said one potential juror, an investment adviser at an international bank.

Another potential juror, a woman who works at an international environmental group, said steroids should be illegal in baseball, adding that any users of performance enhancing drugs "has not upheld the honor of the sport."

Clemens, 49, faces two counts of perjury, three counts of making false or misleading statements and one count of obstruction of Congress -- all related to his denial of performance-enhancing drug use at a congressional hearing four years ago.

In the first trial last July, Walton declared a mistrial on the second day of testimony because prosecutors showed inadmissible evidence.

Hardin and U.S. Assistant Attorney Stephen Durham read a list of nearly 100 potential witnesses, many of whom will never be called.

As expected, Durham listed Clemens' former trainer Brian McNamee -- the government's key witness who testified four years ago that he injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs in 1998, 2000 and 2001 -- and Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, who backed up McNamee when he said Clemens told him about using human growth hormone a decade ago.

The prosecutor also listed Canseco, a self-admitted steroid user, and Bonds, who was found guilty of lying in a San Francisco trial connected to steroid use. Durham also listed Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and longtime Yankees trainers Gene Monahan and Steve Donohue.

Hardin listed former Yankees players Paul O'Neill, Mike Stanton, Jorge Posada and former Yankees pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre and MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons, as well as several former teammates of Clemens throughout the years.


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