June 1, 2012

"I just didn’t think he was guilty."

Edwards jurors speak.
On the Today show, the three jurors raised their hands when asked if Edwards was guilty on at least some of the counts. No one raised their hands when asked if Edwards was a bad guy.
Ha. Fascinating. I get the feeling the legal commentators like to say: He's a bad guy, but that doesn't mean he should be convicted of a crime. It's important to understand that distinction. But they didn't even think he was a bad guy. Maybe they were competent at compartmentalizing. They knew it wasn't their job to decide if he was a bad guy, and they set that aside and concentrated on the elements of the crime and whether the prosecution met the burden of proof.

18 comments:

David said...

Oh he's guilty all right. Just not of the crimes charged.

Bob said...

Their, not there, Ann. A lapse.

This is NC, and the jurors were probably Christians who probably were raised to forgive the sinner, not the sin. Everyone acknowledges that Edwards is a sleaze. Being a sleaze, however, isn't a crime.

Will Collier said...

I'm unconvinced that Edwards should have gone to prison, but as far as jurors not thinking "he's a bad guy," come on--the guy made his considerable fortune by conning--um, I mean, convincing jurors of his trustworthiness. When he ran for office, I got the clear impression that he was always thinking, "If I can just find a dumb enough jury, I'm in!"

chickelit said...

Immoral but not illegal behavior?

Michael K said...

I'm with Will Collier. Edwards got rich channeling dead babies for dumb juries. Most of the judgements he got were for things that were not malpractice so it's only fair he was acquitted of things that shouldn't be crimes. Of course, tax evasion is what he should be charged with but this is the Obama DoJ.

Amartel said...

People on juries get sucked into the world of the case without any outside commentary and background and spin to dilute or add to their impressions. They start to relate to the person that they see there every day, which in criminal cases is the defendant. This is kind of like the Casey Anthony case in that way.

Glen Wishard said...

I've been on three juries and some (not all) of the persons on those juries were the dumbest individuals I've ever met in my life.

Jury pools are full of public employees who love jury duty because it's like a paid vacation for them. They pay no attention to testimony and evidence, then try to appear intelligent by flummoxing the deliberation process.

traditionalguy said...

Law is a technicality.

This law made a knowing intent to violate campaign donation limits as a necessary technical proof item.

That was not really possible in a case where the money went to extended family members to hide them from the media rather than to campaign uses. It was hush money, but that did not not necessarily make it money for a campaign purpose.

And Johnny Edwards is a natural at playing a sincere innocent charmer all day long in court. How else could he have had the successful Trial career that he enjoyed?

Trust the Jury.

And the Mellon Gift Tax was returned and paid, as I recall. So there was no income tax due because a gift is never income, and because gift tax falls only on the donor.

edutcher said...

From what I heard last night (Greta, IIRC), the jurors acted like it was all a joke.

One of the reasons the judge decided to tell them to fish or cut bait, supposedly.

Jake said...

Juries don't pay attention to their instructions. They make it up as they go along. Most of them probably made their minds up after about 10 minutes into the Defendant's opening and once they did they were personally vested in their own decisions. Once so vested it's very hard to get someone to admit they were wrong.

Kinda the same reason we're enduring these incessant recalls.

Quaestor said...

This is NC, and the jurors were probably Christians who probably were raised to forgive the sinner, not the sin.

Perhaps, but this is immaterial. "I just don't think he was guilty" is a perfectly valid reason NOT to convict a defendant, I don't agree with it personally, but given my contempt for all things John Edwards, I couldn't have got a seat on that panel anyway.

Bender said...

In many respects, you win or lose the case during jury selection.

Get a bunch of gullible boobs, even an obvious sleeze like Edwards (obvious even when he was VP candidate) will get adulation and support.

William said...

I saw an extended clip of the interview Edwards gave after the hung jury. He took responsibility for his sins which, he said, were his fault alone and which were not crimes. He thanked his family members for their love and support. He looked very sincere and very humble. I'm no Edwards fan, but he really did look like a sympathetic figure......I saw the Werner Herzog documentary, Into the Abyss. It about two men convicted of a triple murder on Texas' death row. One murderer ends up executed; the other does life. The one who got executed was especially smarmy. He found religion while on death row and at his execution forgave the relatives of his victims for wanting to see him executed. The one who got life was a much smoother operator. He seemed very sincere and remorseful about his past sins. He married a girl while on death row and managed to get her pregnant.....I don't think he was any less guilty or malignant than the other killer, but he certainly knew how to play upon people's sympathies. I suppose the truly gifted manipulators are the ones who don't leave you feeling manipulated, but instead leave you with feelings of sympathy and Christian charity......Anywway, Edwards performance reminded me of that murderer. Edwards looked genuine and sincere, but that might just be a reflection of his manipulative skills. There's the paradox that the more convincing he is about his remorse the more you suspect you're being conned.

Leon said...

Yea I've only been on one jury of six people (civil) but even in that small group some pretty slow thinkers. "a jury of my peers" is a very scary phrase.

Lem said...

“I just didn’t think he was guilty,”

Jurors aren't payed to think.

sleepless nights said...

I imagine the mere fact that he went through a trial is cathartic for a number of people - a lot like Clinton's technical impeachment before the acquittal - which I enjoyed immensely, btw. Edwards, not so much. I'm older now and it just grosses me out to see his skeevy face anywhere at all. He also never quite had the horsepower that Clinton did in the first place. I would rather he, Reilly, and their spawn Just. Go. Away.

Saint Croix said...

Mark Steyn is right on the money (as usual!)

traditionalguy said...

Steyn said it all. So not only Trust the Jury, but you must read Mark Steyn explain why the Jury got it right again.