Appeals Court Overturns Ex-U.S. House Leader Tom DeLay's Conviction

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 19 2013 11:20 AM

Appeals Court Overturns Conviction of Ex-U.S. House Leader Tom DeLay

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Former U.S. House of Representatives majority leader Tom Delay (R-TX) greets well-wishers in his office in the Cannon House Office Building June 9, 2006 in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A Texas appeals court has overturned the conviction of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, the Texas Republican who was found guilty of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering back in 2010.

In a 2-1 decision that was announced this morning, the Third Court of Appeals in Austin ruled that the evidence in the case was "legally insufficient to sustain DeLay’s convictions." The majority opinion calls for a judgment of acquittal, not a new trial, although there could be further appeals. You can read the majority opinion here, and the dissenting one here.

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DeLay's attorney, Brian Wice, told the Associated Press that his client was "ecstatic" and gratified by the ruling. DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison in 2010 after being convicted of funneling $190,000 in corporate donations to candidates in Texas election during the 2002 cycle. He remained free, however, while his case wound its way through the appeals process.

Elsewhere in Slate: Rick Hasen wrote about the dangers of prosecuting politicians like DeLay and John Edwards.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.