Halfway to a jury in Roger Clemens perjury trial

Call it the seventh-inning stretch of jury selection.

On Thursday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton called a three-day break in picking a jury in the perjury trial of Roger Clemens, a former star pitcher being prosecuted on charges that he lied to Congress about taking pefformance-enhancing drugs.

So far, Walton has told 18 people to return Tuesday to the District’s federal courthouse so they can be part of a 36-member pool from which the final 12 jurors will be selected.

Federal prosecutors will be allowed to strike six of those prospective jurors, and defense lawyers will get 10 strikes. Walton said there would be four alternates on the panel.

Jury selection is scheduled to resume Monday, with opening statements expected by Wednesday.

Throughout the afternoon session, Walton, prosecutors and defense lawyers continued the rigorous questioning of prospective jurors about how they felt about Clemens, steroids and Congress.

Accused of lying to a House committee in 2008 when he denied ever taking steroids or Human Growth Hormone, Clemens was indicted last year on charges of perjury, obstruction of Congress and making false statements. His trial is expected to last four to six weeks.

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