Former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate, John Edwards was found not guilty on one out of six charges that he faced last month. Edwards had been accused of campaign fraud after allegedly accepting almost 1 million dollars to cover up an affair with a campaign worker, Rielle Hunter, who had become pregnant. The other five charges resulted in the judge declaring a mistrial because the jury could not come to a verdict. These other charges included two charges connected to wealthy donations given by the late Fred Baron and a conspiracy charge.
The prosecution brought in cell phone logs, voice-mail recordings and credit-card receipts to show the highly structured measures to cover up the affair with Hunter from Edwards’s terminal wife, Elizabeth, who died in 2010 of cancer. Edwards’s team used back transactions to show that the 1 million had gone to Chapel Hill in Mr. Young’s million-dollar home. Young had been a former aide to Edwards during the campaign.
Should The Prosecution Have Even Brought This Case Up?
According to the Wall Street Journal, the jury had been unable to come to a conclusion after 9 days of deliberation and a month long trial. Julie Blackman, who is a trail strategy consultant for the DOAR Litigation Consulting in New York was quoted as stating;
“If it takes 12 people that long and they still can’t reach a verdict, there must be powerful reasonable doubt at work,” she said. “Prosecutors should think about that before retrying him.”
Several legal experts were not sure if this case should have been tried in the first. Law professor at Columbia University in New York, Daniel Richman, is reported as stating:
“Many people thought this was not the best use of their federal criminal enforcement resources,”
What is next for Edwards?
Edwards says that he wants to dedicate the rest of his time to his children and the poor. He stated:
“I don’t think God’s through with me,” he said. “What I’m hopeful about is all those kids that I’ve seen in the poorest parts of this country and in the poorest places in the world, that I can help them.”
Edwards also maintains his law degree due this ending in a mistrial and could return practicing law.
What do you think? Should this case have been tried?