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Edwards Campaign Finance Judge Drops 47 Potential Jurors

April 16 (Bloomberg) -- The federal judge presiding over John Edwards’s trial on campaign finance violations dismissed 47 potential jurors for cause.

The majority of those excused indicated on an initial questionnaire that they had already made up their minds about the former Democratic presidential candidate’s guilt or innocence, U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles said during a hearing today in Greensboro, North Carolina. Jurors were also dismissed based on conflicts of interest and hardship.

Edwards, 58, a former North Carolina senator, is scheduled to go on trial next week on charges he violated campaign finance rules and used more than $925,000 in contributions to hide an affair. He has denied the charges. Each of the six counts he faces carries a maximum five-year prison term and $250,000 fine.

The remaining 138 jurors will appear starting tomorrow for interviews in groups of 12, Eagles said. The process of choosing a 12-member jury and four alternates is scheduled to be completed April 23, followed by opening arguments in the case.

The jury pool was pulled from North Carolina’s federal middle district, an area that includes 24 counties in the central part of the state.

The case is U.S. v. Edwards, 11-00161, U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina (Greensboro)

To contact the reporters on this story: Sophia Pearson in Philadelphia at spearson3@bloomberg.net; John Peragine in Greensboro, North Carolina, at drjohnnd@hotmail.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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