Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Beyond Morals: Why John Edwards Got Off

John Edwards walked from a North Carolina courthouse into a media swarm after the jury in his corruption trial declared a deadlock on five of six counts held against him.
 The government’s case was tied to Andrew Young, a man of questionable character in his own right. I can only surmise that the jurors found Mr. Young lacked the credibility that they needed in order to sentence Mr. Edwards to a thirty year prison term.
The reality is that while John Edwards may be scum morally, being moral scum is not in itself a crime. Congress would have many empty chairs, if it were.
As someone who has sat on a jury in a criminal trial, jurors are tasked with making a determination based upon the evidence, not whether we personally liked the individual. In my case, the defendant had a criminal history.
Yet, it is incumbent upon the prosecutors to make the case for a guilty verdict. In both the Edwards case and the case that I was involved, they relied on questionable characters and created nothing but reasonable doubt.
 To that end, the government would be well served not to spend tax dollars on a retrial. Why is it the taxpayers fault that your lawyers couldn’t make the case the first time?

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