CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Controversial Instructions at Core of Edwards Case"

From the New York Times. In part:

Although jurors have been weighing the complex and tawdry story of a concealed mistress, an illegitimate child and a cover-up — all financed with money from wealthy friends — the question of guilt or innocence hinges on a single question: Did the money amount to gifts — as Mr. Edwards contends — or illegal and improperly reported campaign contributions, as the government contends?

The jurors, who ended their fourth day of deliberations on Wednesday, are being asked to determine whether the donors gave the money with the “purpose to influence an election.” The phrase prompted a rigorous disagreement between the defense and prosecution in the courtroom over whether the law requires that influencing an election be the sole reason for giving money, as the defense team interprets the law, or only one of the reasons, as the prosecution sees the case.

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