The criminal justice system isn’t done with Tom DeLay just yet.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday agreed to review whether a lower court correctly decided last fall to toss out the prison sentence handed to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on money-laundering charges.
The state’s highest court on criminal matters announced that it would accept a petition asking it to consider whether a 2-1 decision by the Third Court of Appeals overturning DeLay’s criminal case conviction was appropriate.
The appellate court in September 2013 tossed a high-profile jury verdict, ruling that “the evidence was legally insufficient to sustain DeLay’s convictions.” In a dissent, the lone Democrat on the three-judge panel argued the evidence for a conviction was sufficient enough to convince a rational jury that criminal conduct had taken place.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, whose office had prosecuted DeLay, had appealed the appellate court’s decision. They had no immediate comment to the morning decision to review the case.
No date for the hearing before the state Court of Criminal Appeals was set. Both sides will have time to file briefs outlining their arguments in the case.
Brian Wice, a Houston attorney who represents DeLay, said he looked forward to arguing again that the conviction should remain overturned. “We are confident,” he said, noting that he was at the Court of Criminal Appeals to argue another case when he was advised that the court would review the Third Court’s ruling.
See here for the last entry in this saga. We always knew that the Travis County DA would appeal that ruling, it was just a matter of time. The CCA has previously ruled against DeLay, but this is a different ballgame. We know that as a rule, the CCA is fairly hostile towards defendants, but not always. We’ll see if they follow their instincts or not. Juanita, who is practically dancing in the street at the news, has more.