The wait begins
Roger Clemens trial delay conjures up Barry Bonds flashbacks
Roger Clemens was in court in Washington, D.C. this week, but based on Judge Reggie Walton's decision, he'll be home for the holidays.
On Wednesday Walton granted a request by Clemens' attorney Rusty Hardin to delay the former baseball all-star's trial until July 2011. Originally the trial, estimated to last six weeks, was scheduled to begin on April 5, but Hardin said the defense team needs more time to sort through 54,000 pages of documentary evidence turned over by the prosecution and to hire scientific experts to examine it.
"The government has had two and a half years to investigate," Hardin told the judge when requesting the delay.
Clemens faces six charges, including perjury, relating to his testimony before Congress in February 2008 about whether he used illegal performance-enhancing drugs. (Clemens denied taking any type of steroid under oath).
Clemens' lawyers were also authorized by Judge Walton to subpoena potentially exculpatory evidence from the congressional oversight committee and the Mitchell Commission, both of which have claimed privilege in refusing to turn over documents. If either body contests any subpoenas, Walton will rule on the matter after the new year.
While a three-month delay seems minor, it will be interesting to see if the Clemens case follows the glacial pace of another baseball great whose alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs led to legal problems — Barry Bonds.
Bonds testified before a grand jury about the BALCO scandal in December 2003 and was indicted for perjury in 2007. Though his originally trial date was set for March 2009, it's been delayed until 2011 by appeals.