Prosecutors and defense lawyers in the Roger Clemens case today continued examining prospective jurors, exploring their professional and family life, their interest in baseball and their thoughts on whether Congress should play any role in policing drug use in major league sports.
Four prospective jurors were questioned for an hour this morning in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton. The judge swiftly excused one woman from service when she said that Clemens was probably guilty because he was charged with a crime.
Clemens, in court this morning with his lawyers, including Russell Hardin Jr. of Houston, is accused of lying to Congress under oath when he denied ever taking steroids. The former pitching star is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.
One prospective juror, a lawyer for the Federal Communication Commission, was asked to return to court at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, the time Walton said he’s hoping to have jury selection wrapped up.
The prospective juror, who said she once worked at Kirkland & Ellis, is employed in the FCC’s video services division and handles television licensing issues. She has worked at the agency since 1994.
She said she is close friends with the wife of Zuckerman Spaeder partner William Taylor III, who is representing former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The potential juror’s husband is a solo practitioner who represents radio stations before the FCC.
Hardin, addressing the juror, expressed the general concern attorneys have over whether lawyers who serve on juries tend to control deliberation by imposing their knowledge of the law on others. “I don’t practice this kind of law,” the woman told Hardin. She said she was once a foreperson in a civil action in D.C. Superior Court.
Another prospective juror, who served as a criminal defense investigator in Superior Court for eight years, was also questioned this morning.
The woman said she did not have any negative experiences with law enforcement officials or prosecutors.
Hardin questioned the juror over whether she would be able to treat Clemens fairly even thought he made a “good deal of money” playing baseball. The woman said she could be impartial.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Durham asked another prospective juror, a corporate compliance official for a software company, whether she thinks Congress should play any role in policing drug use in sports.
The woman said she was interested whether there were any “mechanisms” in place to monitor drug use prior to Congress jumping into the fray. Judge Walton said any such internal mechanism was not a part of the prosecution of Clemens. The woman replied that said she understood.