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Edwards charges: The rundown

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:04 PM EDT, Thu May 31, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jurors in Greensboro, North Carolina, considered six counts against John Edwards
  • They acquitted him on one count, and deadlocked on the rest
  • Edwards is a former U.S. senator from North Carolina and former presidential candidate

(CNN) -- The jury in the trial of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards spent more than 50 hours deliberating six counts stemming from allegations that he accepted illegal campaign contributions, falsified documents and conspired to receive and conceal the contributions.

On Thursday, jurors emerged to announce they had reached a decision on one count but none of the others. U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles ordered them back into the jury room to continue deliberating, but declared a mistrial after they returned less than an hour later to announce the deadlock.

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The result leaves prosecutors to decide whether to re-try Edwards. There was no immediate comment from the Justice Department, which prosecuted the case.

Here is a breakdown of the charges that the jury deliberated:

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Count 1: Conspiracy (carried a maximum 5-year sentence)

Edwards, a former U.S. senator from North Carolina, was accused of conspiring to receive and conceal contributions in excess of the allowed limits from Rachel "Bunny" Mellon and Fred Baron, a now-deceased Texas lawyer who was Edwards' finance chairman. Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, the most an individual could contribute to any candidate in 2008 was $2,300 in the primary election and $2,300 in the general election.

Prosecutors argued that Edwards, while a candidate for federal office, accepted $725,000 from Mellon and more than $200,000 from Baron. Counts 2-5 reflect that accusation.

Count 2: Illegal campaign contributions (maximum 5-year sentence)

Edwards was accused of receiving contributions from Mellon in excess of federal limits in 2007.

Count 3: Illegal campaign contributions (maximum 5-year sentence)

Edwards was accused of receiving contributions from Mellon in excess of of federal limits in 2008. He was acquitted on this charge -- the only count that the jury reached a verdict on.

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Count 4: Illegal campaign contributions (maximum 5-year sentence)

Edwards was accused of receiving contributions from Baron in excess of federal limits in 2007.

Count 5: Illegal campaign contributions (maximum 5-year sentence)

Edwards was accused of receiving contributions from Baron in excess of of federal limits in 2008.

Count 6: False statements (maximum 5-year sentence)

Edwards was accused of hiding from his presidential committee the hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from Mellon and Baron, causing that committee to create and submit inaccurate campaign finance reports to the Federal Election Commission.

iReport: What is your reaction to the jury's decision?

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