By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
With the jury at the John Edwards trial set to begin deliberations for a seventh day Tuesday, speculation grows that the 12 people charged with deciding the fate of the 2004 vice-presidential candidate may be deadlocked.
Attorneys for John Edwards indicated Tuesday their case was winding down, but they were not yet saying whether they will call to the witness stand the former presidential candidate or his mistress.
A federal judge refused to throw out campaign corruption charges against John Edwards on Friday, meaning the former presidential hopeful will have to present his case to a jury.
Prosecutors rested their campaign fraud case against John Edwards on Thursday after 14 days of dramatic and often unflattering testimony that focused on the once-promising politician's infidelity and the secret money they say he used to cover up the affair he feared would derail his presidential ambitions.
"This is a pretty complex chore," said Kieran J. Shanahan, a former federal prosecutor-turned-defense attorney who has attended nearly every day of the trial. "There's a lot to digest and come to an agreement on. One full week of deliberations is nothing to hit the panic button on. But if it goes another week, that indicates the likelihood of a split verdict or hung jury."
Though Rielle Hunter's name is still on the list of potential witnesses, Shanahan said he would be surprised if the defense calls her to the stand.