Wednesday, October 05, 2005

curiouser and curiouser...


You wanted the next Democratic scandal?!? YOU GOT THE NEXT DEMOCRATIC SCANDAL!!! IT'S THE INDICTMENT OF TOM DELAY!!!


Yes kids, it's true, or at least is appearing to lean that way.

What we have here today is the story of how the prosecutor in the Tom Delay case sent his case to a grand jury three times in four days in an effort to get an indictment against Senator Delay.

Apparrently, the first crime that the prosecutor, one Ronnie Earle, tried to get Tom Delay indicted on, wasn't on the books when Senator Delay allegedly committed the crime. This is what we call Ex Post Facto, which patsbrother will likely inform us was on his law terms matching quiz last week.

When the first indictment didn't stick, Mr. Earle decided to run money laundering charges up the flagpole, and whaddaya know, the grand jury returned an indictment.

You can't tell me that Mr. Earle didn't know that the first set of charges wasn't going to fly, or that he didn't bother to research when the law went into effect, so why bother trying to run the indictment?

Here's a secondary link, for those of you who want more to read about...

apparrently, it takes 3 grand juries to get an indictment...


patsbrother said...

As I understand it, there is a program individuals can download of NASA-collected information that, as a screen saver, puts home computers to work to sift through piles of data, searching for radio patterns suggesting alien intelligence.

S.A.W.B., I have decided you have downloaded a similar program from KRASA: Karl Rove's Asinine Suggestion Authority.

Notice you did not speak to the accuracy of the claim; but made a special point that one of Delay's alleged actions only became criminal after he supposedly did them.

Do I care that procedure necessitated two redraftings of a case or do I care about the malfeasance described within that case?

You're scraping splinters from the bottom of the barrel here; I believe your KRASA program sent out a false positive.

Patrick Armstrong said...

Sometimes it does take three grand juries to return an indictment. I'm surprised this is considered anything other than standard operating proceedure.

I'll be sure to ask my Pops about that one, or maybe Kevin or Mikey can answer. (Kevin could give a really real answer, that is...) Three grand juries may seem excessive to you and me, but to folks in the Criminal Justice system, espeically the one down in Texas, that may not be the case.

Think about how many times they brought Al Capone, Gotti, Pablo Escobar, Kenny Boy Lay, the WorldCom Execs and Martha Stewart in front of a Grand Jury before indictments were handed down. How long did Ken Starr have to fish around Clinton's closet before he found something on which Slick Willie could perjor himself?

Everyone claims 'prosecutorial harassment' when they're looking down the long, drawn out tunnel called the Justice System. We'll know more about all this once a Judge actually looks at it through the lens of a 'motion to dismiss.'

Then and only then will you have your scandal. This may look bad. Heck, it may even be bad. But it's the system that we have.

S.A.W.B. said...

ah, patsbrother, you make this too easy sometimes...

You said it yourself, right here:

Notice you did not speak to the accuracy of the claim; but made a special point that one of Delay's alleged actions only became criminal after he supposedly did them.

If they became criminalized AFTER they were allegedly done, then they are covered under the great legal no harm, no foul, of Ex Post Facto.

Three grand juries is not in and of itself excessive, three grand juries in four days, in what appears to be an attempt to ram an indictment through against a public figure? Perhaps a bit suspect...

Patrick Armstrong said...

Perhaps a bit suspect, but nonetheless, a tried and true prosecutorial tactic of all political stripes. That's why we have defense attorneys (though it looks more and more like my Brother will not be joining those ranks....) Like I said, if the Judge summarily dismisses, then slaps the DA for contempt, then you can have your scandal.

Until then, this is SOP.

patsbrother said...

S.A.W.B.: one of the primary jobs of a prosecutor is to match the crime with a charge. The crime might appear under several guises. This, I believe, is one of the points of a grand jury: getting it straight before a trial. Hold on to ex post facto as long as you want, it's not going to get you to the next star on the left and straight on till morning.

Also: if this isn't the same crime by another name, shouldn't it concern you that there is at least enough evidence to support a SEPARATE grand jury indictment?

I will also throw out a mysterious possibility: the crime of the first indictment only came into effect in TX after Delay committed it; this took place in the past few years; could it be it became law as a response to certain people's actions, such as Tom Delay?

Patrick Armstrong said...

No, Kevin, ex post facto won't lead you to Neverland, but it will give you a get out of jail free card. Luckily, the Grand Jury did not indict DeLay on one of those charges for specifically that reason. Thus the return trip to the Grand Jury.

Oh yeah, I asked the Pops, and he's looking it up, but it is common practice to go before the Grand Jury as many times as you need before an indictment is handed down. That's called prosection, and tends to weed out things like ex post facto cases, which is what happened here with at least one battery of charges.

If there's no indictment, there is not enough evidence to support a crime. If there is an indictment, there is. As my Pops said last night, "A Grand Jury doesn't hand down an indictment unless they have something," and to paraphrase what he said next "and a crime has probably been committed."

What I take exception to is the Houston Chronicle going back through voter primary records in order to spin the political bent of the Grand Jury in this case.

That just disgusts me: the fact that the spin machine on the right would stoop so low as to say the indictment was fraud based on the political leanings of Grand Jurors.

We will see if the indictment was correct or incorrect when the Judge views the motion to dismiss. All the right-right wing lawyers know this, and all this press is just bull.

Then again, it may be DeLay's only way out, what with his long history of threatening Judges...