A former South Texas state judge convicted of bribery could soon be released from prison, though he is only six months into his five-year sentence. Rudy Delgado has requested an early release from prison due to the threat of the coronavirus.

“While Mr. Delgado appreciates that he has served five months of a 60-month sentence, he never contemplated the extreme medical danger that he now faces,” argues his attorney.

Delgado was convicted in July 2019 of bribery and corruption charges for receiving gifts from a local attorney over several years in exchange for handing down favorable rulings. His sentencing in September 2019 was the culmination of a long FBI investigation that dated back to 2016. Delgado was sentenced to serve five years in prison as opposed to the possible maximum of 10 years. The judge at his sentencing described Delgado’s crimes as those that “tear at the fabric of our society” and give the appearance that “justice can be purchased.” 

Delgado is currently serving out his sentence at Federal Medical Center Fort Worth (the same facility where Joe Exotic of Netflix’s “Tiger King” is being held). Two hundred inmates at the facility have tested positive for coronavirus.

His attorney cites his 67-year-old client’s numerous underlying medical conditions, including hyperglycemia, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, a heart condition, and a prior liver transplant. His attorney argues that such conditions, along with his age, place Delgado at increased risk for coronavirus.

“There are approximately 250 inmates in the unit. Social distancing in this close-confined area as well as inside his individual cell is impossible,” his filing states.

Should his request be granted, Delgado’s sentence could be reduced to time served or “a sentence of time-served followed by a term of supervised release that requires home confinement for a period of time.”

David Vasquez

David Vasquez is a native of the Rio Grande Valley, where he was born and raised in Weslaco, TX. He attended The University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor's degree in Government and a minor in English. Following graduation in 2019, David returned home and began writing for Texas Scorecard.


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