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July 6 (Bloomberg) -- Some of baseball’s biggest names, including Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and Jorge Posada, were among people that potential jurors were asked about as jury selection started for the perjury trial of Roger Clemens.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Durham in Washington today named more than 80 individuals the government said may be mentioned or called as witnesses. Rusty Hardin, a lawyer for the accused ex-pitcher, added more than 30.
About 50 Washington residents reported to U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to be considered for the jury. Walton said jury selection would take more than three days and opening statements are expected to begin next week.
At the end of the day, six of those individually questioned were told to return on July 12 to be among 36 people under final consideration.
Clemens, 48, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, is charged with one count of obstructing a congressional investigation, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury in connection with a congressional probe of the use of performance-enhancing drugs by ballplayers.
If convicted on all charges, he faces as long as 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.
Potential jurors received more than 80 written questions asking whether they had any familiarity with those on both sides’ lists, had specific feelings about steroid use and sports, and are fans of Major League Baseball. Those who said they were familiar with Bonds were asked whether they followed his perjury case.
Ten were then seated one by one and questioned by Walton, the prosecutors and the defense.
Not a Fan
“I don’t like baseball at all,” said one woman, a public relations consultant who works with labor unions. “I can’t imagine spending money to watch a sport where guys scratch themselves and spit a lot.” She was told to return.
A male sports fan who spent nearly 30 minutes in the witness chair was dismissed after confessing that he couldn’t fairly consider that Clemens may be innocent because he had “too much exposure” to the case.
The government’s list included McGwire, the former St. Louis Cardinals first baseman; Bonds, the ex-San Francisco Giants outfielder and baseball’s career home-run record-holder; Posada, the New York Yankees designated hitter; Sammy Sosa, a former Chicago Cubs right-fielder; ex-Yankees manager Joe Torre; and baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.
The defense list included former Yankees pitcher David Cone; Hall of Famer Wade Boggs; and Phil Garner, a former major- league player and manager.
The case is U.S. v. Clemens, 10-cr-00223, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).
--Editors: Charles Carter, Fred Strasser
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