Professor Says Jury Could Let Clemens Walk
by: Bill Stamps, May 2, 2012 4:05:00 pm
Baseball fan Shane Long says there are only a few people who know of Clemens actually took steroids or not.
"I wasn’t there. I didn’t see it happen, didn’t talk to anybody about it, so we’ll let the courts figure out what the "Real Deal" Holyfield is if you will."
Even if he did take the banned substance, Long isn’t sure Clemens should be on trial for lying to Congress about it. He doesn’t believe Congress should have been investigating the matter in the first place.
"I don’t think Congress needs to get involved in a lot of this. I think they try to get their nose in too many people’s business. I think it needs to be a Major League Baseball issue, and that’s my view."
South Texas School of Criminal Law professor Geoffrey Corn says Long is an example of how Clemens could find himself a free man when the trial is over. He calls it jury nullification.
"Juries don’t have the legal right to ignore the law, but they certainly have the power to do it."
Corn says it’s possible the jury could find the witness credible and in their hearts believe that Clemens took steroids and lied about it. But when it comes to convicting him, they may begin to think like Shane Long — whether this is an issue Congress should be involved with in the first place.
"That the only reason we’re here is because the government — starting with the Senate and then the U.S. Attorney or Department of Justice — who chose to prosecute this is making too much out of this issue and it’s really an issue for baseball and the profession."
Professor Corn wants to be clear that those aren’t his personal thoughts. But he says if a few members of the jury think that way, it's doubtful Clemens will be convicted.