The State of Texas: August 18, 2014
Video of the Day
Miss Texas, Monique Evans, threw out the first pitch at the Angels-Rangers game Friday and the result was not entirely pretty. To be fair, Evans has an amazing post-throw pose, even if the ball never flew farther than a foot:
Perry Big Scandal — A grand jury declared Friday that Governor Rick Perry should stand trial for abuse of office, a story that immediately went viral, with news outlets from Slate to the New Yorker chiming in. Not that too many people have been able to give it proper context. A Huffington Post blog explains “Why Rick Perry Will Be Convicted” while New York‘s Jonathan Chait declares that “This Indictment Of Rick Perry Is Unbelievably Ridiculous.” In keeping with the overreaction, state Democrats are demanding that Perry resign and the biggest question seems to be not whether Perry did anything legally wrong, but if or how this might affect his presidential asipirations. For a quick recap of events as well as a fresh, much-needed angle on the situation, be sure to read the recap from Texas Monthly’s own Erica Grieder. For further reading, the Texas Tribune has a nice “Five Things to Know About Perry’s Indictment” and a look back at the last time a governor was indicted for messing around with public money.
High Cost of Killing — “Texas is paying four times more for its execution drugs from a new supplier, putting it in line with a local consumer rate but well below the cost in at least one other death penalty state,” according to the Associated Press. “The prison agency in the nation’s busiest death penalty state paid $13,500 for its most recent batch of pentobarbital at a cost of $1,500 per vial, compared to $350 per dose spent last year …” As the story notes, the high cost may be due to the fact that suppliers are less willing to sell the notorious drug, although no one can really say for sure. As expensive as it is to kill people in Texas, “The cost is a bargain compared to Missouri, which also uses pentobarbital for executions. Records earlier this year showed state officials paid as much as $8,000 per dose.”
Legal Limbo — Today begins a trial worthy of the Lifetime channel and just about any college-level ethics class. A grieving father faces a murder charge for allegedly killing the man who killed his children. “The trial will focus on prosecutors’ allegations that [David] Barajas shot 20-year-old [Jose] Banda in the head in December 2012 near Alvin, about 30 miles southeast of Houston,” according to the Houston Chronicle. “Minutes earlier, Banda’s car struck Barajas’ sons as they pushed the family’s broken-down truck down a dark, narrow road just 50 yards from their home. Twelve-year-old David Jr. died at the scene; 11-year-old Caleb died at a hospital.” Barajas’s attorney has said his client is innocent, but “Witnesses have identified Barajas as the person who approached the vehicle before the shooting, Sanders said. And other witnesses said there was a man opening fire but none could identify Barajas as that person.”
Media Thief — “A person claiming to be the burglar who plundered socialite Theresa Roemers’s closet has sent the Houston Press a cache of what appears to be costume jewelry — including a locket with a lock of hair he claims was her dead son’s,” according to the Houston Press. Whoever contacted the weekly has put on a good show, calling with a voice modulator and, supposedly, a “burner phone.” Also, whoever it is seems a bit bored since thier initial heist and is looking for a little fun, no matter how it comes. “The person said he or she contacted the Press after discovering the stolen items were supposedly worthless, and after his request for a payment from Roemer for the return of the material fell through.”