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John Edwards Gambles On Jury To Avoid Prison

As a young personal injury lawyer, John Edwards earned a reputation for turning down multimillion-dollar settlement offers on bets that jurors would award his clients more money at the end of a trial.

Now the former U.S. senator and two-time presidential candidate is making the biggest courtroom gamble of his life, that a jury will clear him of alleged campaign finance violations arising from nearly $1 million secretly provided by wealthy campaign donors to help hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the White House in 2008.

Jury selection for Edwards' criminal trial begins Thursday in federal court in Greensboro. The proceedings are expected to last six weeks.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

Edwards has said he has "complete and absolute certainty" that he didn't violate federal campaign-finance laws.


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