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Crime Scene
Posted at 03:40 PM ET, 07/11/2011

Roger Clemens trial judge nears end of first juror pool

A federal lawyer, a graphic designer-turned-criminal investigator and a retired caterer who worked for the Bush administration were selected as potential jurors for the federal perjury trial of Roger Clemens.

By early Monday afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton selected 24 potential jurors from an original pool of 50 to come back Tuesday. The judge needs 36 for Tuesday’s proceedings, and he has already struck out 13, leaving 13 for the remaining 12 spots.

If the judge or either legal team dismisses another potential juror, Walton will have to bring in a new juror pool of 50 to have enough people for Tuesday.

Clemens, the most decorated pitcher in Major League Baseball, has pleaded not guilty to charges of committing perjury, obstructing Congress and making false statements in 2008 when he told a House committee that he did not use anabolic steroids and Human Growth Hormone.

None of the potential jurors probed by the judge Monday were more than casual baseball fans, though many had heard of Clemens. The second potential juror said she was a fan of European soccer.

“I have not followed baseball since the ‘80s,” she said. She was asked to come back Tuesday.

Another juror worried the defense when he said he came from a law enforcement family consisting of police officers, detectives, a sheriff and a Texas Ranger.

But the potential juror, who catered federal and Republican Party events during George W. Bush’s two terms as president, said he would be fair.

“I’m a Regular Joe, okay?” he said. “I’m going to still love baseball, no matter which way this goes.”

The potential juror was allowed to come back Tuesday, but not before receiving pressure from the judge for being a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. The potential juror is a retired chef for the Washington Redskins. (As he left the courtroom, he donned a red Philadelphia Phillies cap.)

The last juror to be added to Tuesday's pool received the most pressure of the morning after he admitted to defense attorneys that his 25 years of law enforcement experience would make him more lenient toward the prosecution’s case.

Later backtracking from his statement, the juror said he “would want to be fair,” convincing Walton not to strike him out as a potential juror for Tuesday.

Of the eight potential jurors who appeared Monday morning, only two were struck out. One said she believed that the if the government indicted someone, it must mean that the person is guilty. The other said he could not be a fair juror because he did not have enough knowledge of drugs.

Once the judge has 36 potential jurors, the legal teams will strike out potential members they worry would be biased.

After the final cuts, 12 jurors and four alternates will remain for opening arguments, which Walton hopes will start Thursday. The trial is expected to last up to six weeks.

By  |  03:40 PM ET, 07/11/2011

Categories:  Roger Clemens

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