John Edwards: Judge Denies Defense Request to Dismiss

The Judge in the John Edwards trial heard two hours of argument today on the defense motion for judgment of acquittal and denied the motion.

She ruled there was enough evidence to let the case be decided by the jury. She did express reservations about whether the Government had proved venue in Middle District of North Carolina.

If the defense chooses to present witnesses, it will do so beginning Monday. As I wrote last night, the Government is now seeking a jury instruction on "Sympathy" which leads me to believe it is concerned the defense will present at least one witness whose testimony might evoke sympathy for John Edwards. I can't think of anyone other than Cate Edwards who might fit in that category.

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    The prosecution/government (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Zorba on Fri May 11, 2012 at 04:08:06 PM EST
    is worried that the defense "will present at least one witness whose testimony might evoke sympathy for John Edwards"?  What about all of the witnesses and evidence that the government has presented, that had nothing to do with the charges at hand, that seemed to me, at least, to be trying to present John Edwards in the worst possible light?  How about a jury instruction for, I don't know, what you would call it? Anti-Sympathy?  Antipathy?  Hostility?  Whatever.

    I've been following this case, lurking here (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by scribe on Sat May 12, 2012 at 02:22:15 PM EST
    as it were, and given the judge's repeated punting on every issue and letting the goverment put in mountains of irrelevant, inflammatory crap, I've come to the conclusion that the plaintive sound I heard was, in fact, the distant whistle of a railroading.

    When the judge refuses to allow the defense to put on any testimony at all about how the government's theory of allegedly violating the campaign finance law (which this wasn't) was never considered even a civil violation by the government people charged with enforcing that law, you'll be consrained to agree with me.

    This is about as blatant a hack job as I've ever seen.

    Not surprising (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Fri May 11, 2012 at 01:44:08 PM EST
    Not very common for a judge to dismiss at the end of the proseuction's case.

    Surprising, to me, the judge did not (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Fri May 11, 2012 at 02:31:02 PM EST
    resolve the venue issue prior to swearing the jury.  

    Do any of you have access to (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Sat May 12, 2012 at 02:47:23 PM EST
    documents filed by the government re venue?

    Sure hope... (none / 0) (#3)
    by bmaz on Fri May 11, 2012 at 02:39:24 PM EST
    ...there is a strong jury instruction on venue then. Eagles has proved herself a horrible trial judge by best I can discern.

    I thught witnesses were not allowed (none / 0) (#4)
    by caseyOR on Fri May 11, 2012 at 03:16:10 PM EST
    to be in the courtroom before they gave their testimony. Cate, I believe, has been in that courtroom everyday, sitting behind her father.

    Is this just another one of those wrong ideas I have gotten by watching TV?

    She was excluded from (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 11, 2012 at 03:39:37 PM EST
    Sequestration order