Tomorrow, my former congressman and now convicted felon Tom “The Hammer” DeLay will be in court again for a sentencing hearing, a hearing that will eventually end in a sentence pronounced for DeLay’s felonies. The crimes were that he knowingly conspired to funnel illegal campaign funds to seven Texas State House candidates, six of whom won in their elections, resulting in the first Republican majority in the
legislature since the end of Reconstruction. Texas
Resulting in an unprecedented second time in a decade redistricting that ended with more Texas Republican congressmen in the following year.
It was a bold grab for power that was fueled by a felony.
The prosecution, it is reported, have guaranteed immunity to two former DeLay aides if they should be called to give testimony at the hearing. Dick DeGuerin, DeLay’s top-dollar lawyer has complained in the press that the prosecution “want to rub salt in the wound” of his disgraced client.
There is no word on whether the aides will actually be called, or whether, if called, they will be carrying bags of salt in with them.
The sentencing hearing was to have taken place before Christmas but was postponed because not one of DeLay’s lawyers had a free moment on that day. Others have speculated that this was just a cover story and that the judge was giving DeLay one more Christmas with his family before he goes away for awhile.
My guess is that there has been such wide speculation that DeLay’s conviction will be overturned on appeal that maybe the judge believes that, too. And being a retired visiting judge he may not be of a mind not to go easy on this infamous felon with probation or even a sentence of less than 10 years. With a sentence of 10 or more years, The Hammer goes to The Slammer to wait for the appeals process to proceed.
Then there is the school of thought that any jail time for DeLay is a virtual death sentence and that would constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
So what’s going to happen? Here is my scenario: DeLay gets the book thrown at him and gets 10 years. He is then hauled off in cuffs and while sitting there stewing in a holding cell President Obama signs an executive order commuting his sentence to time served.
A move that will piss off just about everybody.