September 19, 2013

"A Texas court has overturned the conviction of former House majority leader Tom DeLay in a money-laundering case...."

Insufficient evidence. 

DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison on a conspiracy charge and five years for money laundering. He remained free while he was appealing his case. For years, DeLay had maintained his innocence and denounced what he called the "criminalization of politics."

In the appellate court's majority opinion, the judges said that "the evidence shows that the defendants were attempting to comply with the election code limitations on corporate contributions."

31 comments:

MadisonMan said...

He can be next to Georgia Thompson in the Exhibit when someone puts it together.

GrandpaMark said...

His mugshot radiated innocence. Wish mine had looked that good.

Matthew Sablan said...

Reputation, back, where to get?

Matthew Sablan said...

Between Ted Stevens, the IRS case, and now this -- people are going to seriously start asking if there's organized use of the federal government against Republicans. I'm going to try to resist the siren's song of conspiracy theories, but really, it is going to be hard to stomp them out.

William said...

It will make the papers for a day, and then the story will die. If people remember him at all, they will remember that there was some kind of scandal attached to his name......He didn't win. He just didn't lose by as much as he might have.

PETER V. BELLA said...

This was a pure political case from day one. It was not a prosecution. It was a persecution.

ajs said...

Good news. Reminds me of the Ted Stevens federal conviction during the 2008 campaign in which he barely lost re-election. It was later vacated due to gross prosecutorial misconduct and corruption. While neither were great men, the legal system shouldn't be used to destroy political opponents.

lgv said...

DeLay, a pompous, power hungry prick, was finally convicted by a pompous prick named Ronnie Earl, Travis County District Attorney.

Earl used his position to go after Republicans for imaginary crimes. He failed to get anywhere over and over, but continued his vendetta until he finally got Delay for something. Now the DeLay conviction can go into the big pile of wasted time and money Earl created on his personal vendettas. Just another use of "prosecutorial discretion".

SteveR said...

Ronnie Earle and Travis County. Mission accomplished for the Democratic Party. Couldn't get elected dog catcher anywhere else in Texas. Any informed and honest person knew that in spite of DeLay's issues, Earle went after him with clear partisan intent.

Sam L. said...

Election contribution laws are designed to catch anyone the gummint wants to.

cubanbob said...

Prosecutors are not supposed to be persecutors. They along with cops and judges should be stripped of their qualified immunity. Fear would go a long way towards curbing abuses by these officials.

trumpetdaddy said...

Althouse - it is incorrect to say "insufficient evidence." The appellate court specifically said, and you cite part it, that the evidence showed he was not only not guilty, but actually complying with the law.

So, no. Not "insufficient evidence." The evidence was plenty sufficient. Of his non-guilt.

That's why they didn't merely vacate the conviction and order a new trial. They ordered an acquittal.

This was a vendetta against an effective Republican from the very beginning. If you are an effective Republican, they will go after you with any means necessary.

John Cunningham said...

Instapundit put it well on the Delay case. it worked, the battlespace preparation was successful. Earle was turned down on indictment by 7 grand juries before he found a mass of leftie sheep in Austin to serve as his stooges. also, I wonder what Delay's legal bills added up to?

Larry J said...

This is the kind of prosecutorial misconduct that should result in disbarment and even imprisonment. There should be no immunity for abusing that kind of power. Delay should be compensated for his legal bills and the money should come from the prosecutor's budget, not just passed on to the taxpayers. Make them feel the pain they so readily inflict on others and perhaps these abuses would stop.

MadisonMan said...

Delay should be compensated for his legal bills and the money should come from the prosecutor's budget, not just passed on to the taxpayers. Make them feel the pain they so readily inflict on others and perhaps these abuses would stop.

When Georgia Thompson was hounded by US Atty Biskupic, prosecuted and convicted (and wasn't that used as a cudgel to beat Jim Doyle!!) and then saw the entire thing thrown out by a Judge -- I guess that's similar to what has happened to Delay, the Wisconsin Legislature voted unanimously to give her $200+ in legal fees. (Note that this is the State cleaning up after a Federally-caused mess. As always)

Perhaps Delay should try the same thing in Texas. Isn't the Delay thing a more intra-state affair, without so much federal entanglement?

But I see there's an appeal on the toss-out, so the story isn't quite over.

damikesc said...

Man did Republicans get hosed in political prosecutions. That the Delay conviction was a joke was known when it happened. His grand jury manipulation alone showed that the case was weak.

Dale Light said...

I am currently registered as an "unaffiliated" voter; and I try, I really try, to maintain a reasonably objective, nonpartisan perspective on political matters. But hardly a week goes by that some prominent Democrat or Party affiliate does not do or say something that thoroughly disgusts me. It is going to be awfully hard for me to cast a vote for a Democrat ever again.

Michael K said...

I wonder where Ronnie Earle is today ? Holder's DoJ ?

The Godfather said...

I don't know enough about this case to know whether this prosecutor deserves the treatment that the prosecutor of the Duke lacrosse players got, but that's a precedent that ought to be considered.

Richard Fagin said...

It's really sad that Delay had to go through what he did for his partisanship, but he did Texas a favor it can never repay: finally got Texas' Congressional districts drawn so they're representative of the political makeup of the state, rather than stacked for the Dems like it had been since the end of Reconstruction. Yes, it was the state legislature that actually drew the districts, but it was Delay's influence that got the original redistricting from the 2000 census thrown out.

Yep, he was indeed a pompous, power hungry prick, lgv, but this state and the United States House of Representatives is much better of because of him.

John Lynch said...

It's a sign of decline and corruption when the court system is used to settle political scores.

There are corrupt Congressmen. They get caught all the time. It never takes this long to decide the case.

CBDenver said...

Sam L said "Election contribution laws are designed to catch anyone the gummint wants to."

You said it, brother. And don't forget the ethics rules that are used to hound people from office. Sarah Palin had dozens of bogus ethics complaints filed against her which were dismissed but her legal bills almost bankrupted her because Alaska rules said that she was personally responsiblee for all her legal bills. The "lawfare" tactics worked as she was forced to resign after her legal defense fund was denied. The legal analyst ruled that she had to shut down her legal defense fund because she used the word "official" in its title; he said that people might consider it was somehow affiliated with her office as Governor. In fact the word "official" was used to distinguish it from the internet scammers who claimed they were raising money for her but who were not sanctioned to do so.

Harold said...

Ted Stevens.
Tom DeLay
Ray Donavan

All had convictions reversed.

Sarah Palin

Eventually had the few thousand, which may not be an exagerration, bogus ethics complaints dismissed.

Scooter Libby- still convicted, but innocent.

In my life, I've yet to read of a Democrat convicted of any type of crime in office have the conviction reversed. Is there an example?

I have heard of Democrat politicians committing crimes, never charged or convicted, who were subsequently re-elected. Ted Kennedy- driving with an expired license, leaving the scene of an accident, failing to report an accident in a timrly manner, probably drunk driving based on circumstances, but the failure to report and the leaving of the scene obscured that. Lion of teh Senate and a great example, and a supporter of women's rights, unless her name was Mary Jo Kopechne.

Andy Freeman said...

> Delay should be compensated for his legal bills and the money should come from the prosecutor's budget, not just passed on to the taxpayers. Make them feel the pain they so readily inflict on others and perhaps these abuses would stop.

If the prosecutor's office doesn't have money, deserving folks don't get prosecuted, which is a "[cost] passed on to the taxpayers".

The only way to keep the taxpayers from being stuck with the bill is to get the money from the prosecutors themselves. Throw in anyone who had the power to stop them and didn't.

Which reminds me, if "the people are sovereign", why does govt officials, and not "the people" have sovereign immunity?

chuck said...

"disbarment and even imprisonment". Somehow I read that as dismemberment and thought it appropriate in a drawn and quartered way.

MadisonMan said...

That should have read $200K+. Slightly more than $200. :)

Larry J said...

Andy Freeman said...

If the prosecutor's office doesn't have money, deserving folks don't get prosecuted, which is a "[cost] passed on to the taxpayers".

The only way to keep the taxpayers from being stuck with the bill is to get the money from the prosecutors themselves. Throw in anyone who had the power to stop them and didn't.


If you take a wrongful prosecution settlement from the prosecutor's office budget, you'll force him to either reduce salaries or cut staff. It's the deterrent effect. Right now, they're immune from lawsuits. Even if there is a settlement, they feel no personal pain. That has to change.

chuck said...
"disbarment and even imprisonment". Somehow I read that as dismemberment and thought it appropriate in a drawn and quartered way.


While that's perhaps a bit more Tutoresque than necessary, it also works as an effective deterrent. Maybe reserve that for wrongfully prosecuted death penalty cases.

Matthew Sablan said...

The odd thing is, DeLay probably really is a slimy, no-good politician. But, after this, he's a martyr.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Just keep in mind:

This is not DEMOCRAT abuse of government power.

This is Democrat abuse of GOVERNMENT power.

The solution to reducing the abuse is to reduce the powers entrusted to Government.

Andy Freeman said...

> If you take a wrongful prosecution settlement from the prosecutor's office budget, you'll force him to either reduce salaries or cut staff. It's the deterrent effect.

You're assuming that the folks cut would be the folks responsible. That's clearly incorrect.

And, you didn't address the fact that cutting prosecutors will cut legitimate prosecutions, which is a huge cost to the public.

The only good way to address this is to penalize the guilty.

Yes, I'm aware that they're immune. That's the problem, and until we fix it, we're going to keep suffering the consequences.

Eric said...

Man did Republicans get hosed in political prosecutions. That the Delay conviction was a joke was known when it happened. His grand jury manipulation alone showed that the case was weak.

Well, now that we know the rules I can't wait until we control DOJ again.