/Trying to write a snappy AP-style lead paragraph.
In case you haven't heard, Clemens -- on trial for perjury -- is off the hook for the time being after his attorney successfully argued for a bad court thingy, which the law-talkin' guy in the robe called a mistrial.
A new trial is no sure thing. A hearing in early September will start the process as to whether it will happen. For now, we're no lawyer but it sounds like the prosecution [redacted] this one up pretty bad. From ESPN.com:
"There are rules that we play by and those rules are designed to make sure both sides receive a fair trial," [Judge Reggie] Walton told the jury, saying such ground rules are critically important when a person's liberty is at stake. ... Walton interrupted the prosecution's playing of a video from Clemens' 2008 testimony before Congress and had the jury removed from the courtroom. Clemens is accused of lying during that testimony when he said he never used performance-enhancing drugs during his 24-season career in the major leagues.
One of the chief pieces of evidence against Clemens is testimony from his former teammate and close friend, Andy Pettitte, who says Clemens told him in 1999 or 2000 that he used human growth hormone. Clemens has said that Pettitte misheard him. Pettitte also says he told his wife, Laura, about the conversation the same day it happened. Prosecutors had wanted to call Laura Pettitte as a witness to back up her husband's account, but Walton had said he wasn't inclined to have her testify since she didn't speak directly to Clemens. Walton was angered that in the video prosecutors showed the jury, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., referred to Pettitte's conversation with his wife. "I think that a first-year law student would know that you can't bolster the credibility of one witness with clearly inadmissible evidence," Walton said.
That's the very legal definition of a "burn." If there is any good news to come out of this, though, it's that it inspired a great suggestion via @panger2011 on Twitter after we tweeted the Lionel Hutz/Simpsons line linked to above. The text of the suggestion: Inspires an idea: "The REAL People's Court." Normal people adjudicating cases based only on TV shows they've seen.
That show would be a gold mine.