Jurors began deliberating the fate of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Friday.
Edwards could face up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine if convicted of illegally using campaign funds to cover-up an affair with his former mistress Rielle Hunter during his run for the White House in 2008.
For the first time, the jury — eight men and four women — will be able to talk to each other about the case after the four-week trial. The jurors include five African Americans, six whites and one person whose background was not clear, according to ABC News.
Edwards is charged with six counts of accepting illegal campaign contributions, conspiracy and falsifying documents.
Closing arguments were made by both sides on Thursday.
The prosecution portrayed Edwards as the mastermind behind the cover-up of his affair with Hunter by using nearly $1 million from two donors to pay for her medical expenses, travel and to keep her away during his presidential campaign.
Prosecutors said he then concealed the donations from the public and filed false and misleading campaign documents.
The defense said Edwards was only guilty of being a bad husband to his wife Elizabeth, who has since died.
They also argued that witness Andrew Young, who was an aide to Edwards, was as a liar and said his testimony shouldn't be believed. The defense said that Young used the funds for his own personal gain.
Neither Edwards nor Hunter took the stand during the trial.
by RTT Staff Writer
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