John Edwards is still up to his manipulative ways as he tried to make eye contact with each juror as they filed into the courtroom on their fourth day of deliberation before they headed home for the day.
There is an old courtroom adage that jurors who return the defendant’s gaze with a quick smile or a nod may be leaning toward acquittal, whereas those who turn away could be signaling guilt. This is not the case. In the first place all of the jurors know that all eyes are upon them and that this is one of the most high profile cases in the country. No juror would want to place themselves or the trial in jeopardy so I have no doubt that none of the jurors returned Edward’s gaze or aknowleged him.
His behavior once again demonstrates his arrogance. While he may have done this jury eye contact game as a trial attorney, it won’t work when he is the defendant.
Most of these jurors are no doubt petrified to leave any stone unturned. May are tense and in knots at knowing that their decision can potentially put the defendant behind bars for life. Therefore it would be very difficult at this point in time to get an accurate reading body language, facial expression and and demeanor.
As proof that this jury is taking their job extremely seriously, they asked for office supplies and a stack of trial exhibits that included copies of handwritten notes from the 101-year-old heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, one of two wealthy political donors who provided the nearly $1 million used to help hide the Democrat’s pregnant mistress as he sought the White House in 2008.
Only when the jury comes into the room after they have made their decision, can one get a glimpse of what will be in store for Edwards. If they appear relaxed, and they don’t look down as they enter the room, and look in Edward’s direction, their decision will most likely be in Edward’s favor.
If they look tense and don’t look in Edwards direction or have furrowed brows, fidget, bite their lips or have extraneous hand or foot movements, things will not be going in Edward’s favor.
There was also speculation that because the jury foreman was wearing blue jeans that a decision was still at least a day away. The thinking on this was that people dress up more when they think they might be photographed. This I not the case. The jurors are not on trial and don’t feel they have to impress anyone, so their attire is irrelevant. For many, jeans have become acceptable standard attire. This may be the case for those who may have dressed in jeans as part of their daily attire such as the plumber, railroad engineer ad the two mechanics who sit on the jury. The fact The corporate vice president and a retired accountant who are on the jury will no doubt provide some strong financial and business insight as they make their decision about Edward’s fate..
If Edwards is to be convicted the U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagle’s instruction to the jurors was that they must conclude beyond a reasonable doubt not only that the candidate knew about the secret payments made on his behalf, but he knew the cover up was illegal and that he went ahead anyway.