Is it me, or do government lawyers kind of suck? First Casey Anthony gets off, now there’s been a mistrial declared in the Roger Clemens Congressional perjury case just days after the trial started. Why? Because the government violated a pretrial order.
Updates after the jump….
ABC News has the report:
Judge Reggie Walton halted proceedings this morning over complaints from the defense about prosecutors’ use of information the judge had banned, quickly accepted their concerns and then declared a mistrial.
The defense had complained that prosecutors had not followed a pretrial ruling to limit information about conversations fellow ballplayer Andy Pettitte had with his wife about the use of human growth hormone.
Seriously guys? Pettitte was talking to his wife and you used the conversation anyway after the judge specifically told you not to? Does the government need a first year law student to come in and tell them about hearsay or something?
The Boston Globe reports that Judge Walton was really angry at the government lawyers:
In angry comments directed toward the prosecution, Walton said, “Government counsel doesn’t do just what government counsel can get away with doing …I’m very troubled by this. A lot of government money has been used to reach this point. The government should have been more cautious. I don’t see how I can un-ring the bell.”
We’ll have a lot of non-lawyers reading this post trying to figure out just how boneheaded a move this was from the government lawyers. On a bonehead scale of one to ten, with a one being signing Pedro Feliciano when you just saw his arm get pitched off on the other side of town, and a ten being the Barry Zito contract, I’d rate this mistake at a level 9.
It’s the legal equivalent of throwing a broken bat at a player in the middle of a World Series game and then being surprised when people accuse you of having ‘roid rage. The government has spent how many dollars trying to bring Clemens to justice? I guess they’re about to waste more money trying to catch the Rocket.