Texas appeals court overturned Tom DeLay’s guilty conviction
By Elsa Maxey
In response to last week’s overturned verdict and speaking to news media, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, 66, of Sugar Land said, “It’s really a happy day for me and I just thank the Lord for carrying me through all of this, and it really drove my detractors crazy because I had the joy of Jesus in me and they did not understand it.”
DeLay was convicted two years ago after a three week trial for a political money laundering scheme and reportedly was to spend three years in prison. “This is an outrageous criminalization of politics and I am so glad that they wrote the ruling that they did,” said DeLay after hearing of the court’s decision.
A Texas appeals court last Thursday called the decision from the trial legally insufficient to sustain DeLay’s conviction. It represents a formal acquittal. More specifically on the previously rendered conviction, DeLay had been found guilty of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering relating to helping illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002. The guilty verdict came with a prison sentence, which remained on hold during DeLay’s appeal.
Of the overturned conviction, statements from a representative of the Travis County District Attorney’s office in a fast responding news account said “this is far from over,” and “we’re going to petition to Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to review this opinion.”
The former, powerful congressman has reportedly spent millions on legal fees including the appeal that overturned his guilty verdict, something like $12 million.
It looks like the matter may not be over as more money and court time are to yet make another showing. At this junction, a DeLay supporter was overheard saying, “He probably feels like dancing, like he did on Dancing with the Stars,” and those on the other side, disappointed about the conviction reversal, are hoping for a fall of the person they don’t call “the Hammer,” but “Teflon Tom.”
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