Friday, September 30, 2005

Tom Delay's waiver of the statute of limitations is important

Tom Delay’s waiver of the statute of limitations is important

Here’s why.

Because he voluntarily gave the prosecutor the ability to indict him. Such a waiver is a written agreement, developed through negotiations between the prosecuting office and counsel for the person entering into the agreement.

No one signs an agreement like that, without receiving something in return. No attorney would allow a potential target of an investigation to waive a statute of limitations without the benefit of some other consideration.

Commonly, these waivers are associated with immunity agreements.

At times, these waivers are an acknowledgement that an indictment is inevitable. In those cases, it is a means to delay the indictment for reasons beneficial to the target.

Another reason for these waivers are part of a deal to limit the charges that can be filed. The indictment document clearly says:

In particular, the Grand Jury present that with the advice and consent of counsel, the defendant, THOMAS DALE DELAY, did knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive the requirement that an indictment for the felony offense of criminal conspiracy, the object of which is a felony other than those listed in Subdivisions (1) through (5) of Article 12.01 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, may be presented within three years from the date of the commission of the offense, and not afterward, insofar as such requirement pertains to the indictment presented herein,

Which means that Delay specifically waived the statute of limitations for the charge listed in the indictment.

That, of course, means he knew prior to the indictment the charge being considered and signed an agreement to allow that charge.

Tom Delay needs to explain the deal he cut with the prosecutor.

There is much more to this than is being discussed. And a lot of “media lawyers” are looking the other way on this three-page indictment. How can you read this document, and not at least note the waiver?