Appeals Court Will Decide If Tom Delay's Money Laundering Conviction Stands

After hearing arguments, an appeals court in Austin will now rule on whether the conviction will stand against former Sugar Land Congressman Tom Delay.

Delay was convicted two years ago. He was found guilty on money laundering and conspiracy charges after Travis County prosecutors argued that the former house majority leader violated state law by using his political action committee to funnel corporate donations to Texas candidates in 2002.

But Delay's attorneys argued that state law at the time didn't apply to the funds he used because they were in the form of a check. Susan Klein is a professor with the University of Texas law school. 

"It did not originally list checks as something that could be laundered. It listed primarily cash and cash equivalents. That was changed by the legislature, but that change occured after the conduct."

Prosecutors told the appeals court they shouldn't consider a narrow intepretation of the law. But Klein describes the case against Delay as overkill. She says there's a chance he could see his conviction overturned.

"And I think because you've got a panel now of two Republicans, because it's been a while and tempers have cooled, I think people are going to look at this and say this doesn't seem right."

There's no word on when the court will issue its ruling.

Bio photo of Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

Gail Delaughter joined KUHF in October 2008 as Saturday morning news anchor and host. A native of New Orleans and a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, Gail has extensive experience in Texas and Louisiana as a radio news reporter and morning show anchor and co-host...