crime and punishment
The snooze-fest has ended in Roger Clemens' favor: On Monday, a Washington, D.C. jury found the baseball great not guilty on all counts in a trial that lasted more than eight weeks and was marked with long tedious stretches punctuated by bursts of high drama.
Clemens, who spent 23 seasons as the starting pitcher for the New York Yankees, the Houston Astros and two other major league teams, has been in legal hot water for possibly using performance enhancing drugs. Those accusations were first detailed in a 2007 report.
The trial is Clemens' second (his first was thrown out as a mistrial); he was charged with six counts of perjury, making false statements and obstructing Congress.
These charges stem from a February 2008 Congressional committee hearing, during which Clemens swore under oath that he did not take steroids. That committee found inconsistencies in Clemens' testimony and recommended further investigation into whether he lied.
The trial, which saw testimony from more than 40 witnesses, yielded lots of boredom, with jurors falling asleep, and rescinded testimony. But it had moments of crackling tension as Clemens' attorney, Rusty Hardin, tore into the prosecution's star witness, Clemens' former strength coach Brian McNamee, who testified he had injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone on numerous occasions and had saved the syringes that contained Clemens' DNA.
If convicted, Clemens would have faced up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.
Clemens, who had been working out with one of his sons when notified that a verdict had been reached, rushed to the courthouse with his wife Debbie and four sons.
He brushed away a tear when U.S. District Judge Reginald B. Walton dismissed the jury and in a brief news conference outside the courthouse, the baseball great, known as "The Rocket," lost his composure when thanking his family and former teammates for their support.