By a new player in the game.
Former Gov. Rick Perry didn’t need more bad news Tuesday, but a Texas agency is lining up against his legal team in the criminal case against him.
The Office of the State Prosecuting Attorney has decided to appeal a court decision declaring unconstitutional one of the laws under which Perry was indicted last year. He is accused of abusing his veto power while governor.
The involvement of the state prosecuting attorney, Lisa McMinn, adds more firepower to the case opposing Perry. The special prosecutor, Michael McCrum, has been outspent by a margin of 10-to-1 by Perry’s high-powered defense team.
McMinn emphasized Tuesday that her office is getting involved not because of the specific accusations against Perry but due to the 3rd Court of Appeals decision to toss out one of the state laws used to indict him, coercion of a public servant.
“I’m just defending the statute that the court has declared unconstitutional. That’s my only concern,” McMinn said in an interview.
Her small, independent agency has the responsibility of representing the state before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. She said that large district attorneys’ offices may handle their own appeals but her office also can get involved.
“We handle a fair amount of the cases ourselves, especially on issues that have statewide importance, such as the constitutionality of a statute,” she said.
McCrum, a San Antonio lawyer, said it made sense for McMinn’s office to pursue the appeal.
“The court wiped out a criminal statute that’s been on the books for decades and that has an effect upon many criminal cases, not just this one involving Mr. Perry,” McCrum said.
See here for the background. Raise your hand if you, like me, had no idea that there was such a thing as the Office of the State Prosecuting Attorney. It makes sense now that I’ve seen it described and given that we split our top court into two distinct entities, but still. The other good thing about this is it won’t add anything to the bill for the special prosecutor. As for what the CCA will make of this appeal, we’ll see. Nothing our courts do surprises me any more. Trail Blazers has more.