Posts Tagged ‘George Zimmermann’
By Ben Hart
The result of the trial of John Edwards is the correct one.
He was acquitted on one count, and got hung jury on the other five counts involving misappropriating funds from his 2008 Presidential campaign to hide his affair with his mistress Rielle Hunter.
The trial proved that John Edwards is a lying slimeball weasle. We already knew that.
But people don’t go to jail for this.
The problem is the vaguely-worded campaign finance laws — vaguely worded because election laws are written by politicians who want to be able to wiggle out of legal problems if they get caught doing pretty much the same thing as Edwards.
The prosecution’s case was built on the testimony of one of Edwards’ disgraced staffers named Vernon Jordan, who is a proven liar and who himself diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars from Edwards’ donors to pay for his own expenses and a pricey new home he was building in North Carolina.
Add to this that he wanted to make big money from book and movie deals related to the case. Jordan also tried to sell a sex tape of Edwards and the mistress.
Another big problem for the prosecution was that it had to prove Edwards knew his actions were illegal in order to secure felony convictions.
But legal professionals disagreed on whether Edwards’ actions actually were illegal at all. Election laws are famously bizantine, complex, vague, and often self-contradictory.
A previous investigation of Edwards by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) found that Edwards’ actions were not illegal. The Justice Department came to a different conclusion and so brought the felony charges.
But if the FEC did not think Edwards’ actions were illegal, it’s reasonable to assume that Edwards might not have thought his actions were illegal.
So the question is: Why did the U.S. Justice Department waste millions of taxpayer dollars and a lot of time to bring this felony case against Edwards when the law is so vague, when their star witness is a proven liar, and when a previous investigation of Edwards by the FEC concluded he had not broken the law?
This is not a defense of Edwards. He’s certainly been proven to be a first-class slimeball, a cad, a real creep.
But that’s not enough to get you jail time.
This is yet another example of excessively zealous prosecutors over-charging — much like in the Casey Anthony and George Zimmeman cases.
In the Casey Anthony case, prosecutors were going for the death penalty when the facts did not support the charge that she intentionally murdered her baby. From the evidence, it looked like an accidental death that Casey tried to cover up. She probably could have been convicted of reckless endangerment of a child, manslaughter or possibly even second degree murder if the prosecution had brought a charge on that level.
But death penalty for this mom?
Come on. Whatever Casey Anthony is, she’s not John Wayne Gasey or Jeffrey Dahmer.
In the case of George Zimmerman, the facts support self-defense more than they support second degree murder. But the prosecution is sticking with second degree murder for George.
The prosecution will lose on this.
The job of the prosecution is to seek honest justice, not to over-charge in order to get splashy headlines in high-profile cases so prosecutors can pad their resumes at taxpayer expense — which is exactly what’s happening all too often in the criminal justice system.
I don’t like John Edwards either. But he’s been thoroughly exposed for what he is. His political career is over. That’s punishment enough. He got exactly what he deserved.