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Monday, January 12, 2009
New Sports Law Column on Roger Clemens' Grand Jury

I have a new column on on grand jury proceedings into whether Roger Clemens committed perjury. Here's an excerpt:

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It is important to not get ahead of ourselves. Clemens has not yet been indicted, let alone convicted. In fact, there are several reasons to believe Clemens would prevail in a trial.

First, Clemens would be able to afford a top legal team, with high-profile expert witnesses. While statistics confirm that prosecutors enjoy tremendous success, those statistics are general ones and not based on prosecutions of remarkably wealthy and famous persons. Along those lines, there is anecdotal evidence suggesting that jurors are often "star-struck" by celebrity defendants, a phenomenon which, if true, would likely bode well for Clemens.

Second, perjury and obstruction of justice are usually difficult crimes to prove. In order to convict Clemens on perjury, prosecutors would not only need to establish that he lied under oath, but also that he knowingly lied. Clemens' counsel could borrow from the playbook of Barry Bonds' counsel and contend that Clemens did not fully understand the questions asked of him, or that he even if he used steroids and human growth hormone, he was never told by McNamee that they were banned substances. All Clemens' counsel would need to plant is reasonable doubt in the mind of jurors.

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Hope you have a chance to check out the rest.


The arrogant Clemens is in the middle of a bunch of bad luck. Many ballplayers today are taking homeopathic growth hormone oral spray because it's safe, gentle on the system, undetectable, and legal for over the counter sales. As time goes on it will be considered as benign a performance enhancer as coffee, aspirin, chewing tobacco, and bubble gum. Unfortunately for Clemens the problem he has is not HGH but perjury.

Blogger Jane -- 1/23/2009 2:52 PM  

I have a reasonable risk of being hit by a foul line drive and therefore bring a glove or pay extra attention: part of the normal course of events, and therefore a known risk. I don't have a reasonable expectation that a pitcher will hurl a ball toward the stands/dugout (or, indeed, that a pitcher lacks the control that much that he will miss his target) without it being a matter of regular play.

Anonymous H. Guide -- 2/18/2010 5:19 AM  

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