Interestingly, the federal court has postponed Sheldon Silver’s surrender date pending the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. McDonnell. Read a recent post by Prof. Bennett L. Gershman on the pending appeal titled Corrupt Acts, Political Favors, and the McDonnell Case. Virginia Ex-Governor McDonnell appealed his bribery conviction after jury found him guilty of receiving frequent and multiple gifts from Jonnie Williams, head of a dietary supplement company. The statute requires that a public official “corruptly received anything of value personally in return for being influenced in the performance of any official act.”
McDonnell appealed the conviction citing routine political conduct, being accessible to its constituents, lending a friendly ear, and even arguing that “political favors were political speech protected by the First Amendments.” Prof. Gershman comments on the Justices’ behavior during the arguments pointing out that although Justice Breyer appeared “troubled by the statutory term ‘influence'”, its definition, meaning and application, Justice Kennedy, on the other hand, appeared to “buy McDonnell’s arguments.”
How will the Court’s decision in McDonnell, a decision watched by many across the country, affect the results of Sheldon Silver’s pending appeal?
- United States v. McDonnell, SCOTUS Case Page.
- United States v. McDonnell, 792 F.3d 478 (4th Cir. 2015).
- John Riley, Sheldon Silver’s Prison Surrender Delayed by Two Months, Newsday (May 18, 2016).
- Kaja Whitehouse, Judge Gives Sheldon Silver Two Extra Months of Freedom, NY Daily Post (May 18, 2016).
- Corinne Ramey, Sheldon Silver Seeks to Remain Free Pending Appeal, Wall Street Journal (May 13, 2016).
- Bennett L. Gershman, Corrupt Acts, Political Favors, and the McDonnell Case, HuffingtonPost (May 11, 2016).
- Anjellica Cappellino & John Meringolo, The Silver Verdict: Conviction Amidst Juror Struggles in High Profile Deliberation, PCJC (Dec. 10, 2015).