AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Legal experts say a Texas judge will have wide latitude in sentencing former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay after his conviction on money laundering and conspiracy charges.
Although DeLay technically faces up to life in prison at his sentencing next month, some observers predict he'll get a far shorter prison term — if he goes to prison at all.
DeLay argued throughout his trial that the deck was stacked against him by a politically motivated prosecutor and a jury from Austin — the most Democratic city in one of the most Republican states. His lawyers say they think they'll have a better chance to convince a judge to lenient and to overturn the conviction on appeal.
Former Houston prosecutor Philip Hilder says a life sentence is "absolutely impossible."
Associated Press Writers Jeffrey McMurray in Chicago and Terry Wallace in Dallas contributed to this report.
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