Why isn't convicted felon Tom DeLay in prison?

I post this in great debates because I suspect he is free due to partisan reasons - the Good Ole Boy GOP Texas Redneck Club.

“Appeal” is somewhat subjective. Who else could escape imprisonment for so long? His appeal is over one year in age now.

How is “appeal” subjective? You either file for an appeal or you don’t.

Silly rabbit! Rich people in America only go to jail when the people they fucked over are also rich (see Madoff, Bernie).

Well, there was the minor detail that Madoff plead guilty. But let’s not allow facts to get in the way of good snark.

Allen Stanford is not free on bail and has never plead guilty yet remains in lockdown.

Don’t protect DeLay for partisan reasons, please. He is a convicted felon.

Don’t assign reasons to my posts that you don’t know about.

You made a claim that somehow DeLay is being given special treatment. You offered no evidence that he is. A comparison between a violation of campaign finance law and someone charged with running a massive Ponzi scheme doesn’t cut it.

You said “appeal” was subjective. It’s not. Your two line OP is lacking in substance. So, make your case or withdraw your complaint. It’s up to you. I take no position on whether he should be in jail or not. I simply answered your question-- he’s out on bail, pending appeal. Is this unusual in similar cases? I have no idea, and I’m not going to do your research for you.

Well, it really did take much research at all and it looks like this is SOP for Texas, which is where DeLay was sentenced to 3 years:

Does this answer your question?

For reference, previous GQ thread on the subject: question about Texas legal system (DeLay case)

You fail to realize that judges set calenders. A Texas GOP judge will stretch out the appeal process until the final days of Rick Perry’s term in order to keep DeLay safe until a pardon is issued.

You failed to read post #7 where I quoted the actual law. All you have brought to this thread is unsupported speculation. Let me know when you decide to discuss facts.

The law is not what the legislature writes in pretty books. The law is what actually happens in courts. It follows interests. See The Common Law by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. etc., etc., etc. Modern American law adjusts itself for each individual case for the facts of each case, all are unique, and whenever there is a ruling adverse to a rich person about to happen, then the courts split new hairs and invent a new doctrine with an exception that needs to be applied in that case.

I wish that it weren’t that way, but that is the way it is.

Your point, as it applies here, being…?

One would think it was reasonably clear that I was agreeing wholeheartedly with you.

Damn not only has the modern American law spread worldwide, it has also traveled back in time to the beginning of civilization! :wink:

You need to look at this from all angles. Yes he is a convicted felon, for the moment, but suppose he wins his appeal. Then from the other angle, he would be an innocent man imprisoned.

He has posted bail and is out. Is it unfair? Yes, but so it’s unfair that any poor person has to rot in jail waiting for his trial, while a rich person can be out. Clearly it’s not fair, but that’s how it is.

By allowing an appeal and a bail to be set, the judge is saying there is good enough reason and/or doubt that they will allow him the benefit of the doubt. He is not convicted of a violent crime which adds weight. It’s costly to keep someone in prison and most prisons are overcrowded. So why add to that burden unless absolutely necessary.

Again, we’re not looking at fairness because the criminal justice system isn’t fair, the whole concept of bail show that. And in the end he’s still going to have to serve his time, so it’s just delaying the inevitable anyway, if the appeals fail

It wasn’t clear to me.

There are two things the OP didn’t focus on, and which is “subjective” is the establishment of whether the accused is a flight risk or not and whether he is likely to commit further criminal acts. There is certainly an element of unfairness, tilted towards the famous (although not the rich), in that first area. Tom DeLay is an internationally recognized figure, and can pretty reasonably be declared not a flight a risk. Given that he is no longer in politics, and doesn’t have access to political funds, and has no prior arrests, we can also reasonably assume that he isn’t going to commit further crimes.

Whether you like him or not, he seems exactly the kind of candidate the law was crafted for.

That’s giving him a pretty wide berth.

It seems to me that he’s a flight risk because if he gets convicted and sentenced to prison, he has everything he needs to vamoose. He could be half way to Borneo before the judge finished saying, “Guilty.” And just because he’s “out of politics” doesn’t mean he’s out of politics. He is in a prime position to influence politics (legally or illegally) without having to answer to constituents.
If he were Joe Corruption the shipping clerk who had $150 in the bank – he’d be sitting in stir right now. Money talks and you know it.

Oh, please. Where is he going to that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the US? And he has family here that he’s just going to up and leave? By your definition, everyone is a flight risk since they might be sentenced to prison.

How does one “influence politics” illegally?

You think Tom DeLay is a flight risk? That’s not gonna happen in any case. I can’t imagine any scenario in which Tommy boy skips the country.

Hey, I’m not a flight risk – I’m broke.

Really? Slush funds, bribery, buying votes, no shit like that has ever happened in American politics?

Listen, I’m not trying to set up Delay as some Bond-level villain, but to state … “he shouldn’t be treated as any other convicted felon because there’s just no way he would offend again, or use his millions of dollars to avoid prison in the first place,” is pretty short-sighted.

I haven’t seen any indication that he isn’t being treated like any other convicted felon who committed the same sort of crime. It’s a non-violent offense, he has no criminal history, he is not a flight risk - he’s not exactly Dr. Evil.

I mean, it’s not like he smoked marijuana or something.