Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Clemens Indictment

A number of observations come to mind concerning the indictment of pitching great Roger Clemens for lying to Congress about using steroids.

First, the news accounts say he was indicted for "allegedly lying to Congress". No, he was indicted for "lying to Congress", not for "allegedly lying to Congress". When someone is indicted for murder we don't say he was indicted for "allegedly committing murder", we say he was "indicted for murder". Just another example of the media being afraid to speak plainly.

Second, Clemens has been known to be an arrogant jerk for many years, going back to when he was thrown out of a playoff game in the late '80's and denied cursing the umpire. It was only many years later that the umpire spoke up and said that yes, Clemens had indeed cursed him. And then there was the beaning of Piazza and throwing the broken bat at Piazza, in two separate incidents.

Third, I have seen in the practice of law for three decades that people can be mistaken about something, without necessarily being guilty of "lying". People seem able to actually convince themselves something did or did not happen, even though all evidence is to the contrary. Here, Clemens just cannot accept that he used steroids, so he denies it to himself and to others.

Fourth, it should be remembered that Clemens did not have to testify to Congress. He insisted on testifying after his name came up prominently in the Mitchell report on steroid use in baseball. He insisted on the opportunity to clear his name; instead, he only dug himself a deep hole.

Fifth, Clemens was offered a plea deal and turned it down, so nobody should feel sorry for him when he gets convicted and goes to prison. He still insists he never took steroids and arrogantly thinks he can prove it in court, even though any rational person can see that he will lose. His arrogance simply knows no bounds. Perhaps a year in prison will give him the personal character which he now lacks.

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