Overheard on CNN.com: 'Being a slimy dirtbag doesn't equal being a criminal'
John Edwards makes a statement outside the courthouse.
May 31st, 2012
07:39 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'Being a slimy dirtbag doesn't equal being a criminal'

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

The federal jury in the trial of former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, apparently had some difficulty coming to a decision, acquitting him on one count and remaining deadlocked on the other five. Readers talked about what that result means and whether Edwards' behavior should be considered criminal.

Edwards gets acquittal on one count, mistrial on others

Most readers seemed to have less than favorable views of Edwards' behavior, but they didn't agree on whether justice is being served.

sarcastr0: "Being a slimy dirtbag doesn't equal being a criminal. That was known going in, and this just proved it. Thanks for wasting taxpayer money on a show trial that had no chance to get anywhere."

crzycatldy: "Face it folks, there is never justice for we the taxpayers when the defendant is a John Edwards. They will always get away with it and then apologize to the camera as if that makes it OK. Until we decide to take back this country...but I don't see that happening anytime soon as we've become spineless sheep."

One person speculated about what jurors were debating.

Sphy: "It seems pretty clear that there is at least one juror who understands that Edwards did not break the the letter of the law and at least one juror who wants to hang him for being a bad husband."

From a broader perspective, many expressed disappointment in the behavior of our leadership. Have we simply found another version of the nobles of yore?

Yvonne Travers: "America fought a Revolution to rid itself of 'Kings, Princes and nobility' who spat and looked down on the common man and could get away with crimes because of their lofty positions in society. Now they've been replaced by something just as sinister and corrupt: Politicians."

Some said the legal system should be left to work on its own.

Edishere: "Another crook goes free!"

Chooch0253: "This is why we have a legal system. To keep opinions out of the picture. He was found not guilty, regardless of your 'opinion.' Deal with it."

Another said people do cheat, so why focus so much on this man? Others said there are deeper issues.

Pembrolelib: "Cheating on one's wife is not a crime. If it were, the jails would be overflowing!"

tet1953: "It wasn't just illicit sex. If it were, we wouldn't be here. There was a whole lot of dirty money involved. That is why there was a trial. Justice was not served today."

judahMaccabee: "Apparently cheating on campaign finance is not a crime either. At least not one that you can be convicted for."

Edwards will face consequences regardless, argued this reader.

Yerboguy: "He might be a bit of a sleaze, but he certainly does not deserve much jail time even if convicted. He is not a menace to society, will never do the same again, his life is pretty much in shambles and he'll be lucky to ever make a good living again I imagine. That's enough of a penalty as far as I can see considering the charges. Find him not guilty and have done with it."

EsmeEisener: "Whether or not you receive punishment must depend on whether or not you broke the law. It is not about whether he is a menace to society (in your or anyone's opinion) or if he is 'suffering' .. If an offender stands trial and it is decided he or she broke the law, and we as a society have decided it is punishable, then the offender stands to take his or her punishment. That's how it works for everyone – also for a rich white guy, frankly."

Various permutations of the word "slime" appeared in several comments.

Ga2LVWoman: "Slimeball! I hope his political career is over. I don't know if he is guilty or not of the charges. but he is guilty of what he did to his wife! She was a beautiful strong woman!

Lolaz007: "There should be an investigation into the DOJ's decision to prosecute this case and waste taxpayer dollars to pursue what turned out to be a soap opera-style freak show!"

Some said taxpayers are the ones paying for Edwards' deeds.

hambdiscus: "From the start it was clear that this trial was a colossal waste of time and taxpayer's money. The Justice Department should take a 50% wage cut for countenancing such a farce. Edwards is a slimy, bald-face liar and genuine POS of the first order, not fit for any elective office in the US. However, the money was never used for any campaign expense (a fact that the prosecutor knew) so how could the jury find him guilty?"

Earth-shattering? Try again, this commenter said.

Craig Jones: "The Breaking News of the day should be that a private company successfully recovered a space capsule! Not this trash! We could have saved taxpayers a lot of money about a lot about nothing. What's new? Another politician gets off from a scandalous affair? Zzzz"

What's your take on the Edwards trial? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: John Edwards • Overheard on CNN.com • Politics
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. ♚Mmmmm♛

    eckkkkzzzzzzoooonnnnneeeerrrrrrrrated...

    May 31, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. fred37ify

    Thats true ! Being a slimy dirtbag doesn't make you a criminal ! But it's required if you want to be a democrat !

    June 1, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
    • ♚Mmmmm♛

      republicans are little less rigorous with their minimum requirements...you just have to be a dirtbag...

      June 1, 2012 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. patrick ©

    I am very left wing and yes he is guilty of being a miserable husband and father. I believe he is guilty of all charges and should serve the max. May his conscience,if he has one, eat away at him until the end of days. To the above posters,ones political leanings shouldn't enter into it.

    June 1, 2012 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      I think he was probably guilty, but the rich rarely get what they deserve. And no politician once you get to the federal level still has a soul, they have already sold it piece mail to the biggest bidders.

      June 1, 2012 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Rudolph vs

      Did the man break the letters of any law?

      June 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. justathought

    I think all elected officials should be held responsible for all of their actions, including lying to the people, after all, they are our leaders. It is true, the way a leader goes, so goes the (majority of the) people who follow: i.e. if the leader is a “slimy dirt-bag” those that follow are sure to become “slimy dirt-bags”.

    June 1, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Rudolph vs

      Most elected officials are lying & using half thruths every so often, if they did not they could not stay in office.

      June 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Thoughtadjust

    Great. "Justice" prevailed for John Edwards cheating ways. One ringy dingy.
    Now, where are the updates for our 9/11 victims family trillion-dollar lawsuits naming those who financed 9/11? (The Bin Laden Group, Royal House of Saud)

    June 1, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. Lola

    @CNN, thanks for including my Comment, but it looks someone put it in the wrong place. Instead of being listed under the Comments including the word "slime" (which my post does not include), it should have been put under the listing for those expressing concern over the use of taxpayer funds in this case. Thank you.

    June 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. A miserable sinner...

    Actually, this is par for the course. Who can forget Dick "I'm not a crook" Nixon's SECOND plea to the American public? The first being his Dog Checkers. How about Jimmy "I have sinned" Swaggart, not to be undone by Bill "cigarboy" Clinton. LOL... dig back further into history and you'll find the same personalities popping up like boll weevils. Nothing much to see. When leaders fall, they look just like the rest of us miserable sinners.

    June 1, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. A miserable sinner...

    One more word – pointed especially to you self-righteous, indignant souls looking to lynch a man/woman for common transgressions... many of our problems would evaporate if we focused on what a leader can do to lead, rather than how we imagine they should live.

    June 1, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rudolph vs

    There are obvious to many lawyers about since such a case can be tried in a court of law.

    June 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. EVN

    A well connected morally bankrupt politician whose friends could throw hush money around and call it a personal gift and not a campaign contribution sums up the trial.

    If Edwards political career isn't in the trash can permanently it will only be because voters demonstrate that they are even dumber than even the more cynical among us think.

    As for Edwards finding a job worthy of him, that won't be a problem for him. There will be plenty of firms willing to hire him for the connections he does have, and there is no shortage of corrupt and influence peddling firms in America. Just look at his friends.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre

      All politicians are morally bankrupt... get over it...

      June 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tom whelley

    there is a difference between being found not guilty and innocence. I think we need to remember that the government is responsible for proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. They failed to do it- again it does not mean he didn't do what he was accused it means the government did prove it.
    This is not a morals court- it is a court of law. The morals part is left to a higher and I believe a merciful being.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Susan

    People will jump all over me for this, but I can overlook adultery because no one knows what a marriage is like privately for both people concerned. Marriage is complicated, people are complicated. However, as a female I'm disgusted by women who "prey" upon rich men by getting pregnant. I'm certain its deliberate so they can get the man's money or force marriage. These women are surely good manipulators too, because men like Johnathan Edwards far from stupid or naive. Why do we only criticize the man?

    June 14, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |