The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed the indictments against former Gov. Rick Perry this morning, Wednesday, Feb. 24.
The decision comes almost two years after he was indicted by a grand jury in the summer of 2014 after he threatened to veto funding for the public corruption unit in the Travis County District Attorney’s office. He stated the Democratic incumbent Rosemary Lehmberg had lost the public’s trust after being arrested for drunk driving. After Lehmberg refused to resign, Perry cut the funding.
A complaint filed by Texans for Public Justice alleged Perry abused his official capacity and accused him of “coercion of a public servant.”
Two of the court’s nine justices dissented in separate opinions, while one justice abstained.
Glenn Smith, of the liberal Progress Texas PAC, slammed the decision.
“The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals tossed out decades of precedent to grant a special privilege to Rick Perry, allowing him to escape a trial before any evidence against him was heard. Legal precedence and common sense make it obvious that argument’s like Perry’s are hollow. He didn’t argue that his indictment was technically flawed. He asked the appeals court to toss out evidence that had never been presented. We have to assume that hundreds of accused criminals will now flood the court with similar arguments. It’s a black day for the law in Texas,” Smith said in a statement.