CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, August 18, 2014

"Texas Gov Rick Perry facing two felony charges carrying significant mandatory minimum prison terms"

Doug Berman has this post at Sentencing Law & Policy, excerpting a newspaper account. In part:

Republican Rick Perry, becoming the first Texas governor indicted in almost a century, must spend the final five months of his historically long tenure fighting against felony charges and for his political future. A Travis County grand jury on Friday charged Perry with two felony counts, abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant, after he vetoed funding for a county office that investigates public corruption.

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The issue isn't the governor's veto right, it is his exercise of the veto for the specific purpose of quashing an investigation by an public integrity unit that was about to expose him and his cronies. Obviously the detailed facts that were presented to the members of the grand jury strongly suggested that the quashing was the true motivation, as opposed to concern about a DWI. (And I mean, come on, does anyone believe that someone's DWI was ever a real concern.)

Insider trading is analogous. It is not a crime to buy shares in a public company, but it is a crime to do so based on non-public information provided in breach of a duty of confidentiality.

Similarly it is not illegal for a governor to veto funding for something, but is illegal for governor to veto funding for a public integrity unit with the specific intent of quashing an incipient investigation of himself and his cronies.

Posted by: James | Aug 19, 2014 12:38:51 AM

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