After the Trial: What's Next for John Edwards?
John Edwards understandably appeared relieved when the jury found him not guilty on one count of campaign finance violations and deadlocked on the other five counts, forcing the judge to declare a mistrial. Although prosecutors have yet to announce whether they plan to retry the case, legal experts say it's unlikely.
"They got every evidentiary ruling in their favor," said Kieran Shanahan, a former federal prosecutor who watched the trial from gavel to gavel. "They got their witnesses to say what they wanted them to say. They were able to keep out the defense experts from the FEC. They even got every jury instruction they wanted. What makes the government think if they tried this case to 12 more jurors that they would get a different outcome?"
Although the jury could not find Edwards guilty of any crimes, the trial drew all the more attention to his extramarital affair with campaign photographer Rielle Hunter, and the emotional impact it had on his wife Elizabeth while she was dying of cancer.
After the trial, Edwards told reporters on the courthouse steps, "While I do not believe I did anything illegal, or ever thought I was ever doing anything illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong. And there was no one else responsible for my sins."
With his reputation and credibility in tatters, it's unlikely the former U.S. senator and presidential candidate will hold any future public office. Nevertheless, Edwards suggested he wanted to have a role in shaping public policy to help the poor.
"I don't think God's through with me," Edwards said. "I really believe he thinks there's still some good things I can do."
Edwards said he would focus his personal life on being a good father, and expressed his love for his children -- including the four-year-old daughter who resulted from his affair.
"I am grateful for all of my children," Edwards said.