John Edwards Jury to Resume Deliberations

Update: No verdict today and the jury may still be discussing the Bunny Money.

The jury will resume deliberations in the John Edwards trial today. MSNBC has graciously provided the full transcripts of closing arguments. The Judge's final jury instructions are here. Attorney and trial watcher for MSNBC Hampton Dellinger explains the possible outcomes here.

< Sunday Night Open Thread | Monday Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I just read this in a link from MSNBC. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Angel on Mon May 21, 2012 at 06:05:55 PM EST
    "One of the exhibits they sought was a handwritten note from Mellon dated Sept. 17, 2007. Jurors requested a typed version, but U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles denied the request, saying one didn't exist, so they would have to do with the handwritten version. The contents of that note haven't been made public."

    How can the contents of the note not be public if it was part of the trial exhibits?  Was that note not part of testimony?

    It's obvious IANAL.

    Link:  http://tinyurl.com/bnatcxy

    No, it is not at all obvious (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Peter G on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:26:49 PM EST
    that you are not a lawyer. Any lawyer would ask exactly the same question. If the document is in evidence, it should be a public record.

    Thanks for the reply. This was a really weird (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Angel on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:12:17 PM EST
    trial to follow with regard to the evidence the judge allowed or disallowed.  I hope Edwards is acquitted.

    It isn't listed as a trial exhibit (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Tue May 22, 2012 at 07:01:24 AM EST
    Prosecution trial exhibits

    Do you think maybe MSNBC got the date wrong?  I can't seem to find that reference in any other news story yet.


    I searched the NYTimes and Charlotte Observer (none / 0) (#8)
    by Angel on Tue May 22, 2012 at 07:52:38 AM EST
    but neither of those mention specifics of the items.  This is one strange case.

    The only one (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Tue May 22, 2012 at 08:03:08 AM EST
    I constantly see referenced is the April 21, 2007 letter, also known as the "haircut letter":

    "I was sitting alone in a grim mood - furious that the press had attacked Sen. Edwards on the price of a hair cut," ......

    "From now on, all hair cuts, etc., that are a necessary and important part of his campaign, please send the bills to me. It is a way to help our friend without government restrictions."

    To satisfy my own curiosity (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by sj on Tue May 22, 2012 at 09:59:43 AM EST
    I looked up the definition of kangaroo court.
    [Slang of U.S. origin.] An unfair, biased, or hasty judicial proceeding that ends in a harsh punishment; an unauthorized trial conducted by individuals who have taken the law into their own hands, such as those put on by vigilantes or prison inmates; a proceeding and its leaders who are considered sham, corrupt, and without regard for the law.
    When I went looking I thought the mention might be hyperbolic, but except for that "unauthorized" bit it sounds about right.  They are certainly doing everything they can to see to it that it "ends in a harsh punishment".

    I can only hope that the jurors see through the prosecutions tactics.  Because if the personal sins of the accused can get him convicted then, really, none of us are "safe".

    to satisfy my curiosity I looked up (none / 0) (#13)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue May 22, 2012 at 01:49:11 PM EST
    the meaning of the term "willful ignorance."  Here is what the site "rational wiki" has to say:

    Depending on the nature and strength of an individual's pre-existing beliefs, willful ignorance can manifest itself in different ways. The practice can entail completely disregarding established facts, evidence and/or reasonable opinions if they fail to meet one's expectations. Often excuses will be made, stating that the source is unreliable, that the experiment was flawed or the opinion is too biased. More often than not this is simple circular reasoning; "I cannot agree with that source because it is untrustworthy because it disagrees with me".

    Edwards may not get away with his defense of willful ignorance this time.  But if he does get away of it, at least we know he finished his career politics.


    So I guess the FEC was practicing willful (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Angel on Tue May 22, 2012 at 01:56:46 PM EST
    ignorance when they said the money was not campaign contributions.  

    hmmm... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by sj on Tue May 22, 2012 at 04:58:58 PM EST
    thanks for the information.  

    I don't see any of that in play here.


    I (none / 0) (#2)
    by lentinel on Mon May 21, 2012 at 06:27:46 PM EST
    wonder what Jeralyn thinks about the Judge's instructions to the Jury.

    One sentence, repeated twice during the instructions, that caught my eye was this one:

    If you find beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Edwards acted with a conscious purpose to avoid learning the truth... and not because he was merely negligent, foolish, or mistaken, the element that Mr. Edwards acted knowingly may be satisfied.

    How would someone be able to determine whether or not Edwards consciously avoided learning the truth?

    Would that simply boil down to a supposition that he, as an attorney, should have known and therefore he would have had to make some kind of effort NOT to know?

    Or was there some evidence that was presented that could lead Jurors to that conclusion?

    It sounds like (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by NYShooter on Mon May 21, 2012 at 07:37:23 PM EST
    those teachers and therapists, in famous molestation cases,  who asked little children leading questions in a subliminal/suggestive manner that had the kids describing the most bizarre, untrue things imaginable.

    After the bevy of damaging, anti-Edwards rulings during the trial, the judge apparently wasn't going to let the jury start deliberating in a room away from her without a "little help."


    that's the ostrich instruction (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 21, 2012 at 07:41:15 PM EST
    burying your head in the sand. That was part of the justification for all the rank hearsay disguised as state of mind.

    But, the conscious avoidance instruction can only be used to find one acted knowingly not wilfully.

    Unfortunately, the judge didn't make that as clear as she should have in the instructions, according to Team Edwards. It's on another computer, so I'll come back to this if I can.


    in other words (none / 0) (#10)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue May 22, 2012 at 08:18:35 AM EST
    he knew the spirit of the law, but could claim ignorance of the law as long as he never heard the letter of the law. 'Don't tell me, I don't want to know".
    Or he could claim ignorance as long as no one could claim to have ever told him or been privy to him having been told what the law is.

    Would be something (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jbindc on Tue May 22, 2012 at 10:11:26 AM EST
    a successful lawyer would know how to do.