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McCrum slaps back at Perry

Interesting legal strategy.

Corndogs make bad news go down easier

You can’t afford this corndog’s hourly rate

The special prosecutor in the criminal case against Rick Perry said Tuesday that the governor is asking for “special favors” and that his activities, including a rally when he was booked, are making a mockery of the justice system.

“I don’t think there’s any reason why Mr. Perry should be treated any differently from any other citizen who’s required to be in court,” special prosecutor Michael McCrum said of a request by Perry’s lawyers that he be allowed to skip a pretrial hearing.

“He’s asking for special favors, and as far as I’m concerned, he’s not entitled to it,” McCrum, a San Antonio lawyer, said in an interview.

Besides looking askance at Perry’s courthouse booking rally, McCrum referred to him “smirking.”

“I’ve never seen a defendant make such a mockery of our system of justice,” he said.

I basically agree with McCrum’s assessment of Perry, but I don’t see the point in airing these opinions publicly. It’s wrestling with a pig, with the same likely result. I think McCrum is better served playing it right down the middle and leaving the grandstanding to Perry’s team. Make your case to the judge and leave it at that.

Despite his complaints, McCrum is apparently willing to work with Perry and his travel schedule, at least for future hearings. The request for an all-purpose get-out-of-attending-the-hearings pass, however, doesn’t fly with McCrum.

“The state does object to Mr. Perry’s request to be permitted to not appear in court at all ‘future non-evidentiary hearings’ in this case,” wrote Mike McCrum, the San Antonio lawyer who was appointed special prosecutor in the case. “From carpenters to lawyers to judges accused of anything from tickets to federal felonies, all are expected to appear in court.”

McCrum’s statements came in a three-page response to a request by Perry lawyer David Botsford to Visiting Judge Bert Richardson that the governor be excused from an Oct. 13 court hearing and all other hearings before his trial.

[…]

“It is certainly not unusual for a judge to waive a defendant’s presence at a non-evidentiary pretrial hearing,” the Perry legal team wrote. “This is normally addressed by a verbal request to the Court, and in 37 years of practicing criminal defense, Mr. Botsford has never encountered a prosecutor who opposed such a request, in state or federal court. However, due to Mr. McCrum’s opposition, this motion is being filed.”

McCrum rejected the Perry team’s assertion that having the governor excused from pretrial hearings was nothing out of the ordinary.

“The common practice in Travis County, Texas, is that defendants must appear at all pretrial court settings, regardless of whether it is anticipated the court setting will be ‘evidentiary’ in scope,” McCrum wrote.

McCrum also accused the governor’s legal counsel of asking for “special favor” by requesting a “blanket” waiver of appearance to all pre-trial hearings for the governor.

Game on. I can understand McCrum’s frustration, but I still think he should stifle the urge to express it publicly in the future, at least outside the courtroom. In the meantime, McCrum has hired Austin attorney David Gonzalez to assist on the case, presumably pending approval from the judge. The next hearing in this case is October 13. We’ll see if Rick Perry is there for it or not. Trail Blazers has more.

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