BTW, since we're fact checking, PolitiFact Texas author Gardner Selby wrote that there are 2,324 offenses in the Texas parole guidelines offense severity list (pdf), when in reality there are more than 2,500. His source for the lower number was a 2007 Grits post, but dozens more offense categories are typically added every legislative cycle.
UPDATE: Via email, I'm told the "true" answers would have been 16, a number I consider overstated, or seven, which is an estimate never published before Gardner solicited it for his story. I replied that IMO Marc Levin's estimate was "truthier" He was gamely attempting to count felonies across codes using a consistent methodology. The Parks and Wildlife person is a practitioner unburdened by the need to apply consistent categories to accommodate the array of statute types and variations in Texas law beyond just oysters. So how many oyster felonies are there? Seven, 11, or 16. Whatever the number, the fact that different counters can't agree, much less that the offenses are seldom if ever charged, at a minimum is humorous and also shows why the House Criminal Jurisprudence committee should consider and pass HB 990 by Rep. Senfronia Thompson authorizing a comprehensive re-evaluation and cleanup of all these junk enhancements that have accumulated over the years.
MORE: Find below the jump the "mostly true" response I sent to Selby when he questioned the number.
Hi Gardner,See related Grits posts:
My original source on that was TPPF. Marc Levin calculated it. First time I wrote about it was here:
Note that in the comments someone actually named a bunch of them. See also this somewhat satirical followup:
There are also, of course, oyster related misdemeanors, see:
It should be mentioned that the way the code is written it's VERY difficult to count crimes because it's hard to know whether to count each enhancement as a separate crime and there's inevitably a lot of interpretation. Notably, nobody actually knows how many federal crimes exist - there are several estimates, each of which have been disputed.
The parole board after each session updates the list of crimes in its "Offense severity list" which is the count I tend to rely on. They have to identify each individual crime in order to classify it for risk categorization purposes. See the most recent one at:
I'd suggest searching on the word "oyster" and counting them.