U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles has delayed John Edwards's campaign corruption trial until March 26, 2012. According to a cardiologist, 58-year-old Edwards has a life-threatening medical condition that will require heart surgery.
The details of the cardiologist's letters to federal Judge Eagles were not publicly disclosed about the former senator's health condition, reported the LA Times.
"Clearly the ends of justice are served by continuance, given the seriousness of his medical condition," Eagles said. Edwards has lost consciousness on one of three heart incidents since he was diagnosed in December, said the judge. An update will be sent to Judge Eagles by February 28.
However, Boston Herald stated that Edwards has an abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmia, that can cause serious problems like a stroke or sudden death. If the arrhythmia is left untreated, it will cause the formation of blood clots that move toward the brain.
"The rhythmic beating of the heart results from the transmission of electrical impulses through the organ. When those are mistimed and uncoordinated, the heart fails to function properly, resulting in complications that can range from fatigue, lightheaded, fainting, palpitations, shortness of breath and chest pain to drastic collapse and sudden cardiac arrest. "
Marcellus McRae, a former federal prosecutor and trial lawyer, has said that he doubted if John Edward's heart condition would influence a jury verdict. CNN quotes McRae as saying,
"Edward's illness may prompt the public, including potential jurors, to view him in a more sympathetic light. However, it is doubtful that this will have any impact on the outcome of his trial," McRae said. "Given the nature of the charges, his physical condition is of no relevance and he will have in theory recovered by the time the case went to trial in March in any event."
Gary Stager of Huffington Post says, "President Obama should use his constitutional power to Pardon former Senator John Edwards. There, I said it!"
Stager brings up the point that hiding a mistress from a wife is not a death penalty offense. He feels that a man with four children, three remaining, should not have to endure the stress of a trial for an alleged crime never before prosecuted. "In the age of Citizens United, there is no political cost associated with granting a sick father of four a new lease on life."
But charges are based on the law that states using campaign funds for personal use is prohibited, even when a federal candidate or officeholder is no longer seeking election to federal office. To make this “novel” case stick, the prosecution is proposing that hiding Edwards’s mistress was a core mission of his presidential campaign," reports The Nation in the article "Did John Edwards Break the Law?"