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Roger Clemens Trial: Ex-MLB Pitcher Faces Second Perjury Trial

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Roger Clemens (R) arrives at the U.S. District Court for a hearing to decide whether the trial should be retried September 2, 2011 in Washington, DC.
Roger Clemens (R) arrives at the U.S. District Court for a hearing to decide whether the trial should be retried September 2, 2011 in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON — Roger Clemens' second perjury trial began Monday, following a mistrial in the first case when prosecutors showed inadmissible evidence to the jury.

The famed former pitcher is accused of lying to Congress in 2008 when he said he never used performance-enhancing drugs.

The new trial, which begins with jury selection, is expected to last four to six weeks.

Some key data and figures in the case:

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CHARGES:

Three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress.

POSSIBLE PENALTIES:

If convicted on all counts, Clemens could face up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine. But with no prior criminal record, under U.S. sentencing guidelines, he would probably face no more than 15 to 21 months in prison.

WITNESSES

Former baseball stars Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco were on the list of 104 potential witnesses or people who might be mentioned at trial that was read to the jury pool. In addition to Bonds and Canseco, prosecutors said they might call baseball commissioner Bud Selig and New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. Clemens' attorneys said they might call his former teammates Paul O'Neill, Jorge Posada and Mike Stanton and baseball writer Peter Gammons.

JURY SELECTION:

Potential jurors answered yes or no to 86 screening questions posed by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton. Among them: "Do you have any opinions about Major League Baseball – good, bad or whatever?"

By the end of the first day, only 13 of the 90 potential jurors had been screened for possible prejudice or schedule conflicts and just seven had been asked to return Wednesday for more screening. The day's tedious pace prompted Walton to chide the lawyers: "It doesn't help the process to repeat what I've already asked."

In addition to people disqualified by the judge for cause, the defense will be allowed reject 10 potential jurors and the prosecutors can veto six – without explanation – until 12 are seated. Then each side will get two such unexplained strikes until four alternates are chosen, in case any jurors have to drop out during the trial.

THUMBNAILS:

_ Roger Clemens: The famed pitcher, who won a record seven Cy Young Awards, said he never used steroids or human growth hormone during his baseball career. But prosecutors maintain he lied and broke the law when he made that denial under oath to a congressional committee in 2008.

_ Brian McNamee: The strength trainer who worked out with Clemens for a decade, he helped mold The Rocket into one of the most feared power pitchers in the major leagues, even into his 40s. McNamee maintains he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone – and saved the needles, which will be evidence at trial. He'll be the prosecution's most important witness.

_ Andy Pettitte: The pitcher and former teammate of Clemens – with both the New York Yankees and Houston Astros – is the only person besides McNamee who says Clemens acknowledged using drugs. Clemens has said his former friend is "a very honest fellow" but insists he "misremembers" their conversation, said to have taken place in 1999 or 2000.

_ Kirk Radomski: The former batboy with the New York Mets was the primary source behind the 2007 Mitchell Report examining the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. Radomski has admitted providing drugs to dozens of players, and McNamee says he got the drugs for Clemens from Radomski.

_ U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton: The judge is a former athlete himself – he went to college on a football scholarship. In declaring a mistrial last year, Walton blamed prosecutors for a mistake that a "first-year law student" wouldn't make. No stranger to high-profile cases, he presided over the trial of former Vice President Dick Cheney's onetime chief of staff, Scooter Libby.

_ Rusty Hardin: Clemens' lead attorney has a reputation for winning jurors over with plenty of Southern charm and colorful quips aimed to bring down opponents.

_ Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Durham: One of two prosecutors who worked on the original case last summer, which ended in a mistrial because prosecutors showed the jury inadmissible evidence, Durham is chief of the public corruption unit at the U.S. attorney's office in Washington.

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