The Spectacle Blog

In Defense of Judge Walton

By on 7.14.11 | 3:07PM

Patrick Howley takes Federal District Court Judge Reggie Walton to the woodshed for declaring a mistrial in the Roger Clemens perjury case:

Ever since February, when Judge Reggie Walton and his old friend Ken Griffey Sr. had a controversial, off-the-record about what a "good guy" Roger Clemens really is, insiders have been speculating as to when and how Walton will end the case in Clemens' favor. Now we have our answer (and it only took him a couple days.)

I think Howley is being terribly unfair to Judge Walton. After all, it was Judge Walton who disclosed the conversation with Griffey, Sr. (with whom he grew up in Donora, Pennsylvania - which is also Stan Musial's hometown) in open court. He stated that he cut short the conversation when Griffey, Sr. mentioned Clemens was a "good guy." If the prosecution had an objection to Walton presiding then they could have filed a motion that Walton recuse himself from the case. They did not do so.

To the extent Judge Walton has a bias, one could make the case it would be against Clemens or at the very least against HGH and steroids. After all, he did serve under the first Bush Administration as the Associate Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Of course, I have had my doubts about the case against Clemens. As it was, the prosecution put forward a sloppy presentation. As Mark Kreidler of ESPN wrote today, "This just in: The federal government is terrible at this." In which case, perhaps the federal government should stay out of it altogether.

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