WASHINGTON -- The retrial of Roger Clemens began Monday with the first steps to select a jury that will decide the former star pitcher's fate, and many familiar names and issues were mentioned in the courtroom in connection with the upcoming trial.Clemens, facing six federal charges related to his testimony before Congress in February 2008 in which he denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs, appeared in a light gray suit and silver striped tie at the defendant's table at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, where 90 potential jurors were called to participate in the selection process. Judge Reggie Walton, as he did last July before the first attempt to try Clemens ended in a mistrial, read aloud a questionnaire of 86 queries to the entire pool, asking potential jurors to mark questions that raised issues for them in a process that lasted a little more than an hour. With those answers, Walton and the attorneys from both sides further interviewed the potential jurors, one by one, for the remainder of the day. As part of the questionnaire, the prosecution and defense read their lists of potential witnesses or people they expect to mention in the trial. There were a few changes in those lists from the first attempt at USA vs. William R. Clemens, which ended in mistrial in July after the government mistakenly showed inadmissible evidence to the jury. For the retrial, the government listed key witnesses such as Brian McNamee and Andy Pettitte. They also cited the familiar names of Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Commissioner Bud Selig as people who could come up, if not as witnesses then in providing context to the trial. They did not mention many other players noted the first time, including Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. The prosecution also mentioned numerous officials from the four teams Clemens played for during his 24-year career and officials from several government agencies, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the U.S. Postal Service. The defense listed baseball figures such as former Yankees teammates Paul O'Neill, Jorge Posada and Mike Stanton as well as former Yankees pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre and Hall of Fame sportswriter Peter Gammons, who is employed by MLB.com, MLB Network, NESN and WEEI. Posada and Stanton were actually on the government's list last July. The government's list was considerably smaller than the 94 they listed in July, and defense attorney Rusty Hardin made it clear that the names both sides listed Monday were not all people who would testify, just people who might be mentioned during the trial. "Y'all would be here about two years," Hardin said, breaking out the Southern-tinged charm with the jurors that the government has taken some exception to both in Friday's hearing and again Monday during voir dire. The initial reading of the questionnaire was held in a large ceremonial courtroom that featured statues of ancient law figures Hammurabi, Moses, Solon and Justinian behind the bench, and on the walls several portraits of federal judges who have served in the same courthouse, such as John Sirica, who presided over the Watergate trials. The individual questioning of potential jurors was held on the witness stand in Walton's courtroom down the hall. By the end of the first day, 13 jurors had been interviewed, with seven -- six women and one man -- staying in the pool and six being excused. Walton hopes to get through 25 more Tuesday and another 25 on Wednesday in order to come up with 36 from which the two sides will be able to use strikes to dismiss, until there are 12 jurors and four alternates. Last July, the jury pool had much the same questionnaire, that time including 82 queries. Additional questions this time included whether the jurors had heard anything about the outcome of Bonds' recent trial, and whether they've heard anything recently about Ryan Braun or Lance Armstrong. Former Giants and Pirates star Bonds was sentenced in December on one charge of obstruction of justice and is appealing the conviction, current Brewers outfielder Braun had a 50-game suspension for a positive drug test overturned in February, and federal prosecutors in February dropped their investigation into possible doping by cycling champion Armstrong. As the questioning of jurors progressed through the day, several with possible medical issues were excused, but not all. Others who were excused had possible bias or time-commitment issues. During the course of the examinations, one area that came up with most every potential juror was the propriety of Congress holding the hearings on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball in the first place, which actually was addressed in Question No. 51. With the jury out of the room, Walton said, "I don't think the defense can try to exploit that and use that as a predicate to acquit" Clemens, but defense attorney Michael Attanasio argued that the legitimacy of the hearings is an element of the charges against his client. With more than a dozen media outlets covering the beginning of the trial, Walton was especially firm with the pool about jurors needing to refrain from talking about the trial -- relating a story he'd told during the first time around about a young daughter who called Walton to tell on her dad for doing that at home -- or reading news about the trial through any outlet. Knowing many people are "addicted" to looking things up on the Internet, Walton made it clear that could not be the case for up to six weeks once the jury is selected. "If you're not going to be able to do that, then do not let yourself become part of this jury panel," Walton said. The charges against Clemens, a record seven-time Cy Young Award winner, carry a maximum sentence of up to 30 years, but federal sentencing guidelines suggest 15-21 months.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.