Tom Delay conviction overturned
An Austin appeals court on Thursday overturned the conviction of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on charges related to a scheme to influence Texas elections.
The wheels of justice have finally ground into dust the conviction of former Majority Leader Tom Delay, whose brilliant political career was ruined by a politicized indictment undertaken by a left wing district attorney named Ronny Earle. Mike Snyder of the Houston Chronicle reports:
The vote by the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin was 2-1. DeLay's three-year prison sentence has been on hold as his case has made its way through the appellate process.
Delay was convicted in 2010 of illegally channeling $190,000 in corporate donations to Republicans running for the Texas Legislature. State law prohibits corporate campaign contributions to local races. A jury in Austin found that DeLay's actions-collecting checks, moving the funds through a political action committee and distributing the donations to state candidates-violated state money-laundering statutes.
"Because we conclude that the evidence was legally insufficient to sustain DeLay's convictions, we reverse the judgments of the trial court and render judgments of acquittal," the majority opinion by Justice Melissa Goodwin states. Justice David Gaultney concurred.
"The fundamental problem with the state's case was its failure to prove proceeds of criminal activity."
Chief Justice J. Woodfin Jones dissented, writing, "I disagree with the majority's opinion that there was legally insufficient evidence to support a jury finding that the corporate contributions at issue here were the proceeds of criminal activity."
The case Earle brought should never have been made. Because Austin is the state capital of Texas, the left wing voters in Travis County choose a DA who has oversight over politicians throughout the state, and comprise the jury which convicted Delay. That was the opening exploited by Earle in what amoutns to a dirty trick that eliminated one of the most effective hardball Republican politicians from the national political game. I remember well the eagerness of the liberal media to show the mug shot of Delay, and Delay's brilliant response:
The verdict rendered by the appeals court removes the threat of prison, but it doesn't give back Delay his career, nor does it indemnify the Republican Party for the loss it suffered. In that sense, Ronnie Earle and his Democrat allies won.
Hat tip: Lucianne.com