Edwards Scorned Plea Because of Prison

Rolls dice on jury trial once again
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2011 4:40 PM CDT
John Edwards is seen with his daughter Cate, right, as they peer out of the federal building following a court appearance in Winston-Salem, N.C., Friday, June 3, 2011.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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(Newser) – The near-certainty of six months behind bars led John Edwards to scotch a plea bargain and take his very significant chances on a jury, reports the News & Observer in a look at the last-minute wrangling that took place behind the scenes. Prosecutors put on the table a deal in which Edwards would plead guilty to three misdemeanor charges—allowing him to keep his law license—but his lawyers wouldn't even be allowed to argue for alternatives such as a halfway house or house arrest that would let him care for his young children.

Instead, Edwards now faces six felony charges and the possibility of 30 years in prison. He had turned down an earlier deal that would have required him to plead guilty to at least one felony, notes the N&O, because he would've lost the right to practice law. For more on what's at stake in the case, click here.

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