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Former Delegate Seeking Appeal in Wake of McDonnell Decision

Associated Press

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn former Governor Bob McDonnell’s conviction for corruption may have had consequences far beyond the fate of the former governor and his wife. 

Former Republican Delegate Phil Hamilton is currently behind bars, serving a 10 year sentence for corruption. But now that the Supreme Court is overturning Bob McDonnell’s conviction for corruption, Hamilton and his lawyers are pushing for a new appeal. Virginia legal expert Rich Kelsey: 

“Let’s face it, when you have a Supreme Court decision you ought to take that to a lower court and you ought to make a good faith argument, which I think they have — a good faith argument. I just don’t think they have a winning argument."

Part of the problem for Hamilton is that the case against him involved a lot more evidence of corruption, specifically legislation he introduced to benefit himself, and the paper trail he left behind to prove it in court. Quentin Kidd is a professor at Christopher Newport University. 

“He benefited from legislation that he was shepherding through the General Assembly. They found emails between him and his wife where they were talking about this position before it had ever been passed by the General Assembly. So it’s a classic public corruption case."

Meanwhile, the McDonnell’s are not out of legal jeopardy yet. Prosecutors have until the end of the month to make the case that the former governor and his wife should be tried again with different jury instructions.

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