The John Edwards Trial: Just Temporarily Delayed or Time to Dismiss?
Adam Dulberg, J.D. Candidate
Beleaguered former North Carolina Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards received welcome news regarding his impending criminal trial. On Thursday, September 8, 2011, Chief Judge James Beatty for the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of North Carolina delayed proceedings until January 2012. Edwards, who was indicted in June by the United States Department of Justice for conspiracy, issuing false statements, and violating campaign contribution laws, had earlier requested additional time to prepare his legal defense in light of the passing of his ex-wife, Elizabeth, which has made Edwards the sole caretaker of his two youngest children, ages 11 and 13. While the Edwards legal team prepares to defend against the prosecution’s assertion that campaign contributions were used to support Edward’s mistress during the 2008 presidential race--a claim his lawyers characterize as a “novel legal theory”--it may be even more prudent for federal prosecutors to use the delay to reconsider the merits of their seemingly weak case.