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#224716 - 06/03/12 06:23 PM The Edwards case: Adultery may be a sin but it’s n
Scoutgal Offline
Administrator
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Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 27583
Loc: CA USA
The Edwards case: Adultery may be a sin but it’s not a crime

By DOUG THOMPSON
A Capitol Hill Blue Commentary
June 1, 2012



John Edwards, second from left, speaks outside a federal courthouse as his daughter Cate Edwards, left, and parents Wallace Edwards, second from right, and Bobbie Edwards, right, look on after the jury's verdict. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Legal analysts told Capitol Hill Blue before the trial against John Edwards began in North Carolina last month the case against the former Senator and Presidential candidate was doomed.

While they agreed that Edwards’ actions of screwing around on his wife and spending contributions to keep his pregnant mistress under wraps was despicable at best, it wasn’t illegal and the Justice Department — which has a lousy record when it comes to prosecuting complex cases — couldn’t convince a jury to convict.

After nine days of deliberations, the jury proved the predictions correct. They acquitted Edwards of one count and deadlocked on the others, leading to a mistrial.

Even Meanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington, said all the feds could do was “offer up salacious details to prove that Edwards is, indeed, despicable but were not enough to persuade the jury to convict him.”

So what did the government accomplish?

Nothing in the cause of justice. The Justice Department spent millions trying to build a hopeless case against a man who cheated on his wife and tried to hide the affair.

The feds couldn’t prove that those who gave the money used for payments to Edwards’ paramour intended the funds to be used for campaign purposes. They couldn’t prove Edwards knew of or approved the arrangement. They couldn’t even agree on what law — if any — was broken.

All they showed was that Edwards was an immoral man and if immorality could land politicians in jail, the halls of Congress, most state legislatures and a lot of city council chambers would be empty and we would have to build a lot more jails.

Said Edwards after the bungled trial:

I want to make sure everyone hears from me. While I do not believe I did anything illegal, or ever thought that I was doing anything illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong.

There is no one else responsible for my sins. I am responsible–none of the people who came to court and testified are responsible, nobody working for the government is responsible. I am responsible. It is me and me alone.


That pretty well wraps it up. Adultery may be a sin in religious circles but is not a crime in legal ones.

Hell, for many elected officials it’s a way of life.

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#224735 - 06/03/12 07:57 PM Re: The Edwards case: Adultery may be a sin but it’s n [Re: Scoutgal]
pondering_it_all Offline
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Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7614
Loc: North San Diego County
The "felony-stupid" thing about this prosecution is that the Federal Elections Commission auditors long ago reviewed all of these transactions and ruled that they were NOT campaign contributions. The judge wouldn't let the defense team mention that in court, because she said it would be prejudicial for the jury. Of course it would be: It had already been "judged" by the very people in the government who's job it is to judge such things, and he had been found "not guilty".

The auditors' findings were administrative versus judicial, so technically the prosecution was not an instance of double-jeopardy, but still I can see how the jury would have reacted if they heard about it: The case would have instantly collapsed. It violates our basic sense of fair play, to have one part of the federal government tell you something is okay, and then another part of the federal government tries to send you to jail for it!

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#224738 - 06/03/12 08:12 PM Re: The Edwards case: Adultery may be a sin but it’s n [Re: pondering_it_all]
Scoutgal Offline
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Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 27583
Loc: CA USA
PIA~That news makes the trial just a big fat waste of money. rolleyes mad
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#224802 - 06/04/12 11:58 AM Re: The Edwards case: Adultery may be a sin but it’s n [Re: Scoutgal]
Ted Remington Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 4939
I must have missed something. I thought he was being charged with fraud of some kind.

But, as a matter of law, fornication and adultery are both illegal in NC:


Quote:
North Carolina: “Fornication and adultery. If any man and woman, not being married to each other, shall lewdly and lasciviously associate, bed and cohabit together, they shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor: Provided, that the admissions or confessions of one shall not be received in evidence against the other.”


source

Interestingly, the statute does not in and of itself make it illegal for two men or two women to engage in like activities.
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#224834 - 06/04/12 06:51 PM Re: The Edwards case: Adultery may be a sin but it’s n [Re: Ted Remington]
AustinRanter Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/29/06
Posts: 3643
Loc: Austin, Texas
Originally Posted By: Ted Remington
I must have missed something. I thought he was being charged with fraud of some kind.

But, as a matter of law, fornication and adultery are both illegal in NC:


Quote:
North Carolina: “Fornication and adultery. If any man and woman, not being married to each other, shall lewdly and lasciviously associate, bed and cohabit together, they shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor: Provided, that the admissions or confessions of one shall not be received in evidence against the other.”


source

Interestingly, the statute does not in and of itself make it illegal for two men or two women to engage in like activities.


Funny laws, huh? I mean - sex is sex is sex (regardless of how one stimulates the Limbic part of the brain)...and is usually conducted when there isn't an audience, and especially observations by the authorities. In other words, it's hard to enforce such laws unless somehow witnessed by authorities.



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#224850 - 06/04/12 09:31 PM Re: The Edwards case: Adultery may be a sin but it’s n [Re: Scoutgal]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
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Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15967
In light of Lawrence v. Texas, I doubt they are enforceable anyway. They just don't know they are dead, yet.
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