Texas Politics
12:17 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

DeLay Conviction Overturned In Money Laundering Case

A Texas state panel of judges has overturned Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s 2010 conviction for money laundering.

The two judges voting to overturn the conviction reasoned that the $190,000 in question was in the form of checks and therefore not money, something many legal experts are calling a technicality. But DeLay's appellate attorney Brian Wice doesn't share that view.

"To the chuckle-heads out there that think this is a legal technicality, my response is simple: The bill of rights and the proof beyond the reasonable doubt are the antitheses of legal technicalities," Wice said. "And what I’ve always found is that a technicality is merely a point of law that your opponent didn’t argue, so those who says this is a technicality, shame on you."

Wice said the vote came down on party lines, with two Republican judges voting to overturn Delay’s conviction and one Democrat against the order. 

Texans for Public Justice’s Craig McDonald originally filed the criminal complainant in 2003.

"You can’t deny politics were at play in the decision," McDonald said. "All through the trial process, the appeals process that has taken eleven years, Tom DeLay has lost at every level. So the politics were on his side, [but] we think the facts and law was not on his side."

Rosemary Lehmberg, who is the Travis County D.A., and whose office runs the Texas Public Integrity Unit, appealed the ruling to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest criminal court in the State of Texas.