Legal discovery to play a large role in Roger Clemens court case
Contributed by Roumiana Deltcheva
(Mardi, 31 août 2010) |
Much attention has been paid to the highly publicized court arraignment involving former Major League Baseball player Roger Clemens.
Clemens had been indicted by the U.S. Supreme Court for purportedly lying under oath during his 2008 testimonial regarding his alleged involvement with performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens vehemently told members of the Congress that he had not taken any such drugs, despite claims from others - such as ex-teammates and trainers - that he had.
During Clemens' recent arraignment, he submitted a not guilty plea to U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, who then set an April 5, 2011 court date. Between now and then, one of the largest factors in determining Clemens' fate will be the legal discovery process. During this period, Clemens' legal team and his prosecutors will go through large quantities of documents in an attempt to find relevant material. Produced evidence will also be shared among the two sides, including a 34-page index and 12 computer disks of data, which the government turned over to Clemens' legal team on Monday.
"There's a good deal of scientific evidence to examine," Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin, told Walton.
According to a recent article on SI.com, "names of relevant witnesses, police reports, transcripts of recorded statements and laboratory results are likely pieces of discovery. Often the defense seeks more information from the prosecution than it is willing to share, and Walton may have to resolve disagreements as to what is sharable. Should Clemens eventually be convicted, his lawyers could challenge the conviction based on discovery decisions made by Walton that were adverse to Clemens."
Sports Illustrated writer Michael McCann speculates that Clemens' legal team will look to exclude many pieces of evidence produced by the government, such as syringes and other drug-related material provided by Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee. In doing so, Clemens' legal team will be setting boundaries on shareable evidence produced during the legal discovery process.
According to a report on MLB FanHouse, a major reason that prosecutors sought an indictment against Clemens was evidence produced by McNamee that had Clemens' blood on it.
If Clemens is found guilty in April's court case, he could face a prison sentence of 15 to 21 months and a $1.5 million fine.