No new trial for Edwards
GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Justice Department announced it is dropping the case against former presidential candidate John Edwards.
The decision comes after a six week trial where the jury couldn’t reach a verdict on five of the six charges that Edwards broke campaign finance laws.
Denise Speight, an alternate juror who spent every day listening to testimony in the John Edwards trial, said she isn’t surprised. She didn’t get to vote, but firmly believes Edwards is not guilty.
“I think he was guilty of a lot of things, definitely, but I didn’t feel he was guilty of the things they were actually charging him with,” said Speight.
“In order to retry they basically would have to use the same evidence they did as the first trial and to be quite honest… the evidence they had did not meet the standards board beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Otis Cooper Jr., one of the jurors in the Edwards trial.
Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer said, “We knew that this case, like all campaign finance cases, would be challenging.” He also said, “it is our duty to bring hard cases.”
“I just didn’t think they presented enough evidence to convince me that even the money that was given was a campaign contribution at all. So at that point it didn’t matter whether he knew about it or not to me,” said Speight.
Edwards’ attorneys, Allison Van Laningham, Abbe Lowell and Alan Duncan released a joint statement that they’re happy with the government’s decision.
“While John has repeatedly admitted to his sins, he has also consistently asserted, as we demonstrated at the trial, that he did not violate any campaign law nor even imagined that any campaign laws could apply. We are very glad that, after living under this cloud for over three years, John and his family can have their lives back and enjoy the peace they deserve.”
Speight is happy to have her peace back too, after spending six weeks in seclusion and getting accused by a reporter of flirting with Edwards.
“That’s so ridiculous… not to mention we’re in a court of law and I think the judge would be a little upset if there’s stuff going on,” said Speight.