Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Defense rests in the Clemens trial
By Steve Kallas (posted by Rick Morris)
At the start of the ninth week of trial (with 26 actual days of testimony), the case of Roger Clemens will finally go to the jury. The defense rested its case on Monday and, after closing arguments on Tuesday morning into the afternoon and the judge’s charge, the jury will start its deliberations.
A review of the Jim Baumbach of Newsday tweets (an excellent, informative tool) seems to show that both sides are pounding their respective theories of the case to the jury. The government believes it has presented a great amount of evidence while the defense tries to narrow the proof to only the word of Brian McNamee (the former trainer of Roger Clemens) who, according to the defense, is a liar.
It says here that Roger Clemens is going to be convicted on at least one count of this six-count indictment. Probably the most likely count for conviction is the Obstruction of Congress count which includes thirteen statements by Roger Clemens before Congress. If the jury views any one of these statements to be a Roger Clemens lie, he will be a convicted felon.
And that’s not to say that he won’t be convicted of other counts. But, on the other counts (perjury and false statements), there certainly is enough for a jury not to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt should they so desire. Frankly, often times in close cases, it comes down to whether or not a jury likes and/or feels in tune with a lawyer (or lawyers) or a witness (or witnesses) for one side or the other. Does the jury believe Brian McNamee? Or Debbie Clemens? Did Andy Pettitte hurt or help Roger Clemens? Did the jury go in for the down-home nature of Rusty Hardin? Or did they prefer the just-the-facts presentation of the prosecutors?
Finally, will the jury hold it against Roger Clemens when he did not take the stand in his own defense? Rarely do people in his position take the stand but, despite an instruction that will say the jury can’t hold that against Roger Clemens, the reality is that jurors often do just that (you know, if he’s innocent, why doesn’t he get on the stand and tell us that?)
We don’t know the answers to any of these questions yet.
But we will find out in the coming days (or maybe weeks).