Outcome of Edwards' trial shocks many

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May 31, 2012, 10:58 pm
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(NECN/NBC News: Chris Clackum, Greensboro, N.C.) – After nine days of deliberating, the jury announced it reached a verdict in the trial of former presidential candidate John Edwards – but only one verdict gave Edwards some relief.

It was a win for Edwards in his campaign corruption trial, after the jury found him not guilty on one of six charges he faced and deadlocked on the other five.

Judge Catherine Eagles declared a mistrial, and for now Edwards is free again.

"Thank goodness we can live in a country that has this kind of system and those jurors were exemplar for what juries are supposed to do," said Edwards on the steps of the courthouse.

Repeating the refrain from the early days of this case, Edwards blamed only himself.

"While I don't believe I did anything illegal, I did a lot that was wrong and there is no one else responsible for my sins," said Edwards.

The jury decision came after a bizarre twist earlier in the day after telling the judge they had reached a verdict. But the jury of eight men and four women surprised the courtroom with the announcement they only had a unanimous decision on only the one count.

Edwards’ lawyers immediately asked for a mistrial, citing the jury's inability to reach a unanimous verdict on the other charges.

But Judge Catherine Eagles disagreed and gave the jury more time, and sent them back for what turned out to be another hour of deliberations before the final decision to acquit on the one count – and deadlocked on the others.

Edwards was charged with using nearly $1 million secretly provided by two wealthy donors during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries to hide his mistress and illegitimate child.

Tags: north carolina, John Edwards, mistrial, trial, Chris Clackum, Greensboro, campaign corruption
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