Skip to main content

View Diary: Bad news for DeLay (133 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Er... (4.00)
    Note that the second indictment was thrown out on a technicality -- that what is illegal now wasn't illegal under state law when DeLay committed his crimes.

    I wouldn't exactly call that a technicality -- that something that is now illegal was not illegal when you did it.  Frankly, if something wasn't illegal when you did it, then it's not a crime.

    But it's also not a completely accurate description of what happened.  It appears that the conspiracy charges were thrown out simply because the charge of conspiracy to violate state election financing law was not codified at the time.  The underlying violation of state election law was not charged because of jurisdictional issues (the Republican DA who has jurisdiction over that crime will not charge).

    So, while it doesn't minimize what crimes DeLay participated in, the dismissal was probably correct & isn't "a technicality".

    Q: Is it ignorance or apathy? A: I don't know and I don't care. [-4.25, -5.33]

    by GTPinNJ on Mon Dec 05, 2005 at 02:31:42 PM PST

    •  It was illegal (none)
      Conspiracy was a crime in Texas before 2003. In 2003 it was clarified in regards to election code. That does not make it not a crime.

      it's like this: Some commits murder by dropping a cow on someone from the top of a tall building in 2002. In 2003 a law is passed that explicitly makes it illegal to kill someone by dropping a cow on them from the top of a tall building. DeLay just won on a defense that killing someone...cow...tall...wasn't illegal in 2002. it is completely bogus.

      You didn't do it.

      by Earl on Mon Dec 05, 2005 at 02:38:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It has to be conspiracy to commit a CRIME (none)
        There has to be an underlying crime.  You can conspire to buy a doughnut.  That is conspiracy but it isn't a crime.

        In your example the crime is murder.  Murder is always a crime whether by cow or anything else.

      •  That's a poor analogy. (4.00)
        And you don't need an analogy to explain this.  DeLay was indicted on a charge of conspiracy to violate state election law.  At the time of the alleged violation (which was not & will not be charged, as per my previous post) the conspiracy statute did not specifically apply to election law (or, it did not specifically mention election law).  The application to election law was specified in 2003.  The judge in this case evidently ruled that whatever laws were referred to by the conspiracy statute were an exhaustive list & therefore it didn't apply at the time of the alleged violation.  That may be a shit ruling...but I think you need to analyze the legislative history of the 2003 amendment to the conspiracy statute and get the intent of the legislature (were they adding a crime, or remedying a misunderstanding of the scope of the prior law) to know for sure.

        I don't know the history of the 2003 amendment.  But that is what would influence my decision on this issue.

        Q: Is it ignorance or apathy? A: I don't know and I don't care. [-4.25, -5.33]

        by GTPinNJ on Mon Dec 05, 2005 at 02:45:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The underlying crime (4.00)
          which was illegal in 2002, is the point, which makes the analogy, though over the top, fit. I gotta go with Earle here.

          "Clearly, as of 1907, the offense of criminal conspiracy covered a conspiracy to commit the felony offense of unlawfully making a corporate political contribution," Earle's brief said."

          That was a crime in 2002, says Earle.

          You didn't do it.

          by Earl on Mon Dec 05, 2005 at 02:53:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We know Earle's position is (none)
            That's not the point.  You can believe the court's decision was wrong, as Earle did, but once the judge decides the conduct, taken as true, was not criminal because there was no law in effect at the time making it a criminal act then you can't argue he got off on a "technicality."
            •  I never did (none)
              Not the first time that I was confused here with someone who did, but it's not my point at all.

              You didn't do it.

              by Earl on Mon Dec 05, 2005 at 08:15:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site