Greensboro, N.C. — The names and ages of the 12 men and women who are deciding whether to convict former presidential candidate John Edwards of campaign finance and conspiracy charges are private, but a look at the jury box shows a racially diverse, solidly middle-class cohort.
There are eight men and four women on the jury; six members are white, five are black and one man is Hispanic. Three jurors – all men – are retired.
Sixteen people listened to prosecutors share a sordid tale of sex, money and politics in which Edwards recruited high-dollar donors to pay for his pregnant mistress' personal expenses and medical care and to keep her away from the media in the run-up to the 2008 presidential campaign. Four of them, alternate jurors, were separated from the rest Friday before deliberations began.
During the almost four weeks of testimony, jurors took notes and took naps while the attorneys argued their case. Defense attorney Abbe Lowell argued that Edwards' affair with Rielle Hunter, while hurtful to his wife, Elizabeth, was not the issue.
"This is a case that should define the difference between someone committing a wrong and committing a crime ... between committing sins and a felony," Lowell said. "(This money) was not for the purposes of getting around campaign laws. It was for getting around Mrs. Edwards."