So now that Roger Clemens has been found not guilty of perjury, does that mean he’s not guilty of anything? Rusty Hardin hopes so.
“I hope those in the public that made up their mind before there was a trial will now back up and entertain the possibility of what he has always said: using steroids and H.G.H. is cheating and it was totally contrary to his entire career,” Clemens’ Houston-based defense attorney said after the verdict, as reported by Juliet Macur of the New York Times.
But it may not be that simple. As Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated wrote:
The verdict, of course, does not necessarily mean he is “innocent” when it comes to using Human Growth Hormone and illegal steroids. It simply means he is not guilty of criminal charges relating to his Congressional testimony about HGH and illegal steroids. Whether this distinction matters in the court of public opinion remains to be seen.
Michael O’Keefe of the New York Daily News told PBS News Hour, “This is a cloud that is going to hang over him for a long time. This is really going to define his legacy even long after he’s dead. This is going to be an asterisk on his legacy.”
But Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated’s take was exactly the opposite of that:
Not guilty, not guilty, not guilty.
In time, this is all that people will remember. Clemens won his perjury trial, and this is his prize: He can tell people that a jury declared he was not guilty. Forever….
He had a Hall of