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The evidence against Roger Clemens continues to be underwhelming

May 9, 2012, 11:03 AM EDT

Roger Clemens

The Roger Clemens trial got entertaining yesterday as ex-steroids dealer Kirk Radomski — made famous in the Mitchell Report — took the stand.

He was fun at least. Lively. Animated. Entertaining even, for a jury that has been mostly bored to tears.  The problem, though, is that the big piece of evidence he provided isn’t terribly big:

Radomski’s key piece of evidence is a shipment of HGH he said he sent to Clemens’ house about a decade ago. Radomski showed the jury an old, torn shipping label he found under his television set in his bedroom in June 2008. Federal agents had failed to find the label when they searched his home three years earlier – because they apparently didn’t look under what Radomski called his huge, old-model “dinosaur of a TV.”

The label was addressed to Brian McNamee, Clemens’ former strength coach, at Clemens’ home address in Texas. Radomski said the shipment was for two kits of HGH – “about 50-100 needles” – and estimated it took place in 2002.

It’s not irrelevant. I mean, it meets the definition of evidence that has ” the tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence,” as Rule 401 says.  It could, if the jury is otherwise inclined to convict Clemens, support that conviction.

But really: a long lost scrap of paper from underneath a drug dealer’s TV, from a package that was sent to someone who is not the defendant? I can’t say that will have a ton of weight, especially in these post-CSI days when jurors expect a ton more from physical evidence than that which could reasonably be given.

So, fun. Maybe relevant. But this trial still turns 100% on whether the jury will believe Brian McNamee.  That’s all that matters.

  1. latchbeam - May 9, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    This is an absolute joke!! Can’t the government spend the time and resources on something to create a job instead of this?? A drug dealer, scumbags word is enough to try this case?? TWICE??

    • skids003 - May 9, 2012 at 12:16 PM

      For real, something relevant like “Fast and Furious” or something.

    • ltzep75 - May 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      Plenty of lawyers are being employed due to this trial. Does that count?

    • ghouchens - May 9, 2012 at 9:49 PM

      government lawyers don’t like to lose or have their cases tossed out by judges. It is an ego thing.

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 9, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Whether Clemens is found guilty or not, his legacy’s horribly tainted and the world knows what a stubborn douchebag he really is.

    • 18thstreet - May 9, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      I think he should be convicted for the 1990 ALCS. Now, what’s this about steroids?

      • skids003 - May 9, 2012 at 4:48 PM

        Is that the one where he threw the broken bat at Piazza? I’ve never forgiven Piazza for not charging the mound and kicking his arrogant butt.

  3. heyblueyoustink - May 9, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Still though, a total waste of government taxes.

  4. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 9, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    especially in these post-CSI days when jurors expect a ton more from physical evidence than that which could reasonably be given

    Obvious caveat that IANAL, but is this true or just an oft used cliche?

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 9, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      Not sure how you’d measure it, but my litigator friends certainly believe it. Have had it borne out in post-trial juror interviews in which jurors talked about how a given piece of evidence wasn’t convincing whereas, ten years ago, no one would ever question it.

      Obviously anecdotal, of course.

      • umrguy42 - May 9, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        My uncle, the ex-cop, ex-special investigator, and current professor of Criminal Justice (and part-time blogger for Investigation Discovery), believes in it as well. (For whatever that’s worth :p)

      • ltzep75 - May 9, 2012 at 1:25 PM

        I was at least taught the CSI effect during many an evidence/crim pro/crim law lecture. Number of my associates were as well.

      • heynerdlinger - May 9, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        There was talk about this in David Simon’s book, “Homicide: A Year on the Killing Street” which written in 1988.

        I wonder to what extent this effect cuts the other way as well. The CSI shows make it seem like a tiny shred of hair or carpet fiber can prove a murder case when there could be some doubtful (but scientific!) science to support it.

        Not that DNA is inherently suspect, but what jury is going to doubt even the slightest amount of DNA these days?

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 9, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    I don’t remember the exact statistics, but I have read that those in authority choose to avoid court trials in the vast majority of cases brought before them. Who the hell decided that this was worth the effort? A tattered piece of paper that may or may not be legit (you have the take a drug dealer’s word for it) and some dirty needles kept for years in a dirty soda can by a man who wanted to implicate his client (again, we have to take a different drug dealer’s word for it).

    Someone thought this was a keeper?

  6. The Dangerous Mabry - May 9, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Astonishingly, Lester Munson once again disagrees with you, Craig, and thinks the Prosecution had a strong day, and are building the foundation of a case that’s looking very strong.

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/7906927/after-judge-berates-attorneys-prosecution-strong-day-roger-clemens-perjury-trial

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 9, 2012 at 12:12 PM

      Wake me up the first day Lester Munson is right about anything ever.

      • ltzep75 - May 9, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        Craig, its not fair that you make the comment of the year on your own blog. At any rate, I think you can take the rest of the day off after that gem.

      • David Nieporent - May 10, 2012 at 7:31 PM

        I’ll have you know that Mr. Munson is no longer suspended by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission for ethics violations, so he’s entirely qualified to be a legal commentator.

  7. makeham98 - May 9, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    and once Clemens’ lawyers again throw his wife under the bus over hgh, then what?

    glad to see that not only are the feds wasting so much money on a celebrity prosecution, they are using even bigger dirtbags than clemens to make their case.

  8. Jonny 5 - May 9, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Evidence? Evidence? We don’t need no steenking evidence to blow millions of dollars chasing an athlete for putting a substance in his own body. It’s not as if our gov’t is in a deficit, or Social security is in jeopardy, or people are having a huge issue paying for their medicine in retirement. Or anything like tha…

  9. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 9, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    My guess is that 2 Clemens trials will have been held without a conviction before Khalid Sheik Mohammed gets to trial. I know one has little to do with the other, but if there are prosecutors who feel they have the time to pursue Clemens, perhaps someone in authority should help them with their resource management.

  10. buffalomafia - May 9, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Go to jail! Do not pass go or collect HGH!

  11. chill1184 - May 9, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    The government shouldn’t have been involved from the start. Yes we know that Clemens is a complete and total douchebag for juicing and their is no excusing for that but jail time is beyond retarded (along with the rest of the drug war for that matter). The punishment for players who juice should be simple; 1. Cooperstown is closed to you (asterisks should be added to the record books), 2. A juicer should not be allowed to be a coach in any capacity in MLB. Yes these would never come to fruit because as we say with the Ryan Braun issue, MLB can’t live up to it’s own standard. Also for god sakes put Pete Ross in the Hall as a player.

  12. walleyejon - May 9, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    I heard Pete Rose just put 20 grand on Not Guilty

  13. JB (the original) - May 9, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    A clip from today’s StarTribune.com article on the trial:

    Also Wednesday, Judge Walton dismissed a juror because he had been sleeping and showing up late for trial. During jury selection, the juror, an unemployed man in his 20s, said he’d rather be sleeping than be in court but promised to be “wide awake” if selected. The jury has four alternates.

    Must be some excitng stuff….

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