Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Tom DeLay is having his first lesson on speed in the courts and the slow judicial process. According to the Wall St Jrl. here, DeLay will have to file written arguments on his Motion to Dismiss and the court will then rule on the motion. Dick DeGuerin, Delay's attorney, is stressing the importance of speed here because of the accused's leadership post.
One can't help but wonder how long this process would take if this were not a private attorney like the esteemed Dick DeGuerin and if this were not a white collar case.
What if this were an individual sitting in prison unable to make the bond who has been assigned pauper defense counsel? Perhaps they would not be able to go to work because of their incarceration, would not be able to support their family, and they might even lose their source of livelihood in the process. (see here - National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Indigent Defense page, also Bill Rankin's stories on Indigent Defense in Georgia in the Atlanta Jrl. Constitution) In some states they could be sitting a long time before their case were heard, even on a motion to dismiss.
Perhaps an important lesson that Tom DeLay can learn from this experience is that the slow movement of justice can be devastating to those who are accused of crimes. Those accused of white collar offenses may have an advantage in speeding up the judicial system process.
While everyone speaks to the need of making sure white collar sentences are similar to sentences of those facing non-white collar cases, the front end of the system is being overlooked. That being - the charging process, the ability to secure legal counsel, and the ability to move the case through the system quickly.
Perhaps in Texas, DeLay's case will move with the same speed as those with indigent counsel, but that can not be said for all cases across the United States. Hopefully, this legislator will learn an important lesson from this experience.