Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Larry Craig: Done? Not so fast!

This past saturday, embattled Idaho Senator and gay sex trawler Larry Craig offered his resignation from the Senate. The governor of Idaho, as dictated by law, is already pondering who to put in the seat. But, wait!

Larry Craig believes that he can get his guilty plea for lewd conduct overturned in a court. If he can get these charges overturned and prove yet again to Idahoans (I'm skipping the pretext that other Americans and I really care about this) that he is a God-fearing, homo-hating republican. Oh wait, did I say that out loud? Nevermind. It's pretty much true anyway.

The NY Times's Adam Liptak assesses the possibility of Craig getting out of this charge. It turns up that Minnesota is a more forgiving state legally than others. According to Liptak:

A Minnesota law allows pleas to be withdrawn “to correct a manifest injustice.”
At this point, Liptak gets into a case where a peeping tom pled guilty on a burglary charge when he wasn't a burglar, just a peeping tom. Liptak suggests that Craig can possibly make a similar argument:

Mr. Craig may have a similar argument. In a written plea agreement dated Aug. 1, he admitted that he had “engaged in conduct which I knew or should have known tended to arouse alarm or resentment or others which conduct was physical (versus verbal) in nature.”

That tracks only imperfectly the crime to which he pleaded, which requires proof that the defendant had engaged “in offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy conduct or in offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others.”

A judge could certainly decide that the differences are trivial and hold Mr. Craig to the deal. But it is at least possible that the case could be reopened on grounds similar to those asserted by Mr. Munger.

Now, if the police report is correct, there is no way that Craig is getting off on this one. I'm just frustrated by the fact that Craig won't come out and accept his inner gay. I mean, it's really not a bad thing being gay. They are lovers, not fighters. But, Craig's convinced that he's straight, so I'll let him continue on in his delusions of fantasy. He doesn't really affect my life too much.