Well, you got to hand it to the US Government, if there's a way to get it wrong, they will find it.
Such is the case with the perjury trial of Baseball great Roger Clemens, who willfully lied under oath to Congress with an air of 'righteousness' and 'privilege' that can be found easily within the ranks of the pampered star. And why shouldn't they feel this way, that, to put it crudely, 'their shit don't stink'? Every time we get to a point where an example is going to be made, something happens that allows these ego-inflated, overpaid people to walk into the sunlight, smiling and signing autographs.
In Clemens case, literally a case, it was an error so glaring that a first year law student would have caught it that led to Clemens probably getting away with lying to to the government.
In the second day of the trial, the prosecutors blatantly ignored a pretrial order of the judge's that only conversations between the defendant (Clemens) and the witness (in this case Andy Pettitte) were admissible. Conversations between the witness and his wife were not to be introduced to the jury.
Sound pretty simple, doesn't it?
Tell that to the prosecution.
What should have been a simple case of omitting such kind of references to inadmissible conversations was apparently lost on the staff working for the prosecution because they failed to omit the references to the conversations between Pettitte and his wife. They were so blatant and to such a large degree that U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton had no choice but to declare a mistrial. He felt that the non-allowed testimony would have irrevocably prejudiced the jury.
"Mr. Clemens has to get a fair trial," Walton said. "In my view, he can't get it now."
So now were left with a mistrial and a prosecution mistake so grave and so head-scratching that the judge may rule that Clemens can't be tried again for these charges. This type of ruling is allowed under the 'double jeopardy' law that states that nobody can be tried for the same crime twice. We will find out on September 2nd if this will be the case.
Anyway you look at it, however, it looks like Clemens is going to skate away free for blatantly lying during a federal investigation. That may not seem like a big deal, certainly not as big as him actually taking steroids, but it's just another reason for the pride filled athlete to puff out his chest a little more.
And that's something we certainly don't need.