Will "willfully" save John Edwards?

John Edwards at the courthouse Friday
John Edwards at the courthouse Friday

(CBS News) GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The jury in the John Edwards political corruption trial is scheduled to resume deliberations Monday after failing to reach a verdict Friday, their first day of trying.

Edwards is charged with six felony counts in connection with alleged campaign finance fraud.

Prosecutors say Edwards belongs in prison for devising an elaborate scheme to use nearly $1 million from wealthy donors to hide his affair with Rielle Hunter, in violation of campaign finance rules, notes CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.

But Edwards defense lawyer Abbe Lowell told jurors Edwards "confessed his sins. ... But he has pleaded not guilty to violating the law."

"48 Hours Mystery" correspondent Erin Moriarty, who's also an attorney, says deliberations "could take a while."

"This is a very, very difficult deliberation for them," she pointed out to "CBS This Morning: Saturday" co-hosts Jeff Glor and Rebecca Jarvis. "When you read the jury instructions, they're told they have to look at the intent of the (campaign) donors, Rachel 'Bunny' Mellon and Fred Baron.

"The problem is, neither one of them testified. Fred Baron died in 2008 and Bunny Mellon is almost 102. So now, (jurors) have to go back to the hard evidence and try to figure out what was in their minds. Did they intend these to be gifts, that they would have helped John Edwards no matter what, or was this definitely to affect the election? And what's tough is, you know, all the evidence kind of goes both ways."

Edwards jury goes home for the weekend

Still, says Moriarty, "It ultimately is gonna come down to whether the jury believes [Edwards aide] Andrew Young or not. There are a lot of reasons not to. He got full immunity. There are a lot of reasons for him not to be entirely truthful. He took so much of the money for his house. ... He was the key witness. If they (the jurors) believe him, I think John Edwards has a real chance of being convicted. If they don't --

"There's one word I think is gonna save John Edwards: the word 'willfully,' because the way it's defined in the jury instructions is that he had to know what he was doing was against the law. And from the times I sat in the courtroom, I did not hear a lot of evidence about that. 'Willfully' may be the word that saves him."

To watch the discussion with Erin Moriarty, click on the video in the player at the top of this story.

To see the report filed by Anna Werner about Friday's proceedings, click on the video below: