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On ex-Virginia Governor Bob McDonnel conviction

Posted in on 7-1-16

On ex-Virginia Governor Bob McDonnel conviction
The Supreme Court’s decision throwing our the conviction of ex-Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell underscores the difficulties in prosecuting public corruption. Modern era decisions including McNally (1987) that jettisoned then existing prosecutions for “theft of honest services,” McCormick (1991) that imposed a “quid pro quo” requirement on Hobbs Act cases and Skilling (2010) which limited the current version of “honest services fraud,”  have reduced the tools for prosecutors. While Congress might someday pass tougher laws, in the meantime, an increasingly broader range of conduct has been  legalized even if, as Chief Justice Roberts described it, such conduct is “distasteful” or even “worse than that.”