AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - A Texas judge is sending "The Hammer" to prison. Former Republican leader Tom DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison Monday after a jury found him guilty of money laundering and conspiracy.
DeLay emotionally asked the judge for leniency. "I've lost my right to vote. Just because someone disagrees with you, it's not enough, they have to bury you, throw you in jail." DeLay arrived at the Austin courthouse in good spirits earlier today jokingly telling reporters he "had a date with the judge today." During his days in Congress, he earned the nickname "The Hammer."
DeLay was found guilty in November of a campaign-finance scheme that funneled $190,000 in corporate donations through his Texas-based PAC to the Republican National Committee, and then into the campaign coffers of seven Republicans running for the Texas Legislature. By Texas law, corporate money is illegal.
"Mr. DeLay has suffered enough. He lost it all already." said DeLay's attorney, Dick DeGuerin. "He did not rob, he did not line his own pockets. He did what he did because he believes in conservative values."
The judge will allow DeLay to post a $10,000 bond while his case is being appealed. DeGuerin says DeLay is posting bond and will be released soon.