Tom DeLay, the former U.S. House majority leader whose name became synonymous with the Republicans’ controversial rise to power in the Texas House, was found guilty today of laundering money in connection with the 2002 elections.
Jurors sent a note on yellow legal paper that a verdict had been reached to the judge at 4:46 p.m. They had deliberated since Monday afternoon.
They sent word that they had reached a verdict at 4:46 p.m. today.
DeLay was charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money. He faces a possible sentence of 5-99 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine on the money laundering charge, and 2-20 years in prison and a possible $10,000 fine on the conspiracy charge.
Prosecutors earlier said they believe the DeLay case is the first such criminal charge ever filed over Texas’ century-old prohibition on corporate contributions in state political races.
I don’t know what will happen on appeal, and regardless of that I think the possible sentences are a bit over the top, but still. That ought to wipe the smirk off his face for a little while. Maybe there is some justice in the world. I bet Jim Ellis and John Colyandro will have long, hard talks with their lawyers this weekend.
UPDATE: For your schadenfreude-tastic enjoyment, this classic scene from “Cop Rock”, the greatest musical cop show ever produced by Steven Bochco:
It may take awhile to get this stupid grin off of my face.
UPDATE: Juanita celebrates.