Elizabeth Edwards' 'Revenge' Tape Should Be Ignored

Elizabeth Edwards may have died in December, but a secret tape she made as she was dying may be the final nail in John Edwards' coffin. The problem, of course, is that the tape actually means nothing. 

John Edwards was indicted last week on accusations that he used money from campaign donors to cover up the affair. Roughly $1 million was given to Edwards by two contributors to his campaign and it was allegedly used to cover up his affair.

As a wife, Elizabeth Edwards has every right to be furious at her husband of 30 years, but as a lawyer herself, she ought to know that a "beyond the grave" videotape isn't really useful in court. The fact is, we really shouldn't be talking about this tape at all. Here are several reasons the tape should be ignored:

  • It's emotional: Our laws aren't based on emotion and anger, they're based on facts and logic. How can we possibly trust a tape that was made based on the myriad of emotions she must have been feeling?
  • It's too little, too late: The fact is, for years, Elizabeth Edwards told us that we should believe in this man, HER man. For 20+ years she stood by her husband, campaigned for him, told Americans we should vote for him as our PRESIDENT. Now, because he betrayed her, she is willing to take away not only his career, but his freedom, too? It doesn't add up and it doesn't make sense. His affair doesn't define him. 
  • It isn't admissible: A defendant has the right to confront his accuser, but a dead accuser can't be confronted. We may all love Elizabeth, but she isn't here and her motives aren't obvious and can't be questioned. We can only speculate. This makes it highly unfair and not legal.
  • We don't know what is on it: This is a matter for the courts, not the media. We all assume that it reveals some secret or some truth about John Edwards, but the truth is, we don't know what is on it.
  • It makes her look bad: Elizabeth Edwards has been lauded as a hero since her death and there is no doubt that what John and Rielle did was disgusting and almost unforgivable. But she had children with this man! Is he really such a bad father that she wants him to go to jail? She isn't thinking of the ways this video will hurt her kids at all. And that makes her look vindictive and mean, which is probably not how most of us see her.
  • Believability: She has a lot of reason to hate John Edwards. Why would we believe she is telling the truth? Just because she died of cancer? It seems to me that a woman this scorned would say a lot to get revenge on the man. Was it just for revenge?

Would you believe this video?


Image via ariedana/Flickr

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