When defending against federal white collar crime charges, an important aspect of the case is the loss calculation. The potential sentences defendants face often depend on this loss calculation, which considers the amount of financial harm caused by financial or economic crimes.
In a criminal case, it often appears that the deck is stacked in favor of the prosecution. After all, the prosecution tends to have greater access to evidence and witnesses than the defense. One of the ways our system tries to level the playing field is by requiring prosecutors to give defendants access to evidence that might help exonerate them. This type of evidence is often referred to as exculpatory evidence.
Tom DeLay, the former majority leader and majority whip in the U.S. House of Representative, earned the nickname "The Hammer" for his hard driving and uncompromising style. However, some commentators believe that his uncompromising nature has led him to receive a longer sentence than he might have received had he been more apologetic during his prosecution for white collar crimes. Allegedly, DeLay used illegal means to funnel corporate contributions to Republican candidates during the 2002 election in Texas.