Could John Edwards have been charged with something else?

by - May 03, 2012

It’s customary to add an alleged to any sentence describing a not-yet-convicted defendant. Usually, it’s a not-very-convincing nod to the constitutional presumption of innocence. But here, there really is a doubt as to whether Edwards violated campaign finance laws. 

Legal academics from across the spectrum – including those, like Richard Hasen at University of California, Irvine, who support more and stricter campaign finance regulations – have gone on the record opposing Edwards’ prosecution. Many of us without tenure agree that the government’s theory in the case either overreaches or is unconstitutional. Indeed, there is a strong chance that any conviction will be overturned on appeal.

I understand the desire to make an example of Edwards. The fact that a man with his capacity for deceit and betrayal was allowed anywhere near the presidency is a national failing. 

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