The jurors acquitted Edwards on one count of accepting illegal campaign contributions and deadlocked on the other five counts. They said they were deadlocked on most charges because the former presidential contender never actually received any money from two wealthy donors to hide his pregnant mistress, and they didn't believe the star witness' account of the cover-up.
Even jurors who thought Edwards was guilty on at least some of the six counts of campaign finance fraud said the prosecution simply didn't have enough evidence. The jurors did not say what the split was, in terms of guilty votes.
"Everybody's got their own beliefs based off of what they saw," juror Jonathan Nunn told "Good Morning America." "They stood their ground. They stood by their decision and I respect that."
Nunn added that he thought the money from the two wealthy donors were personal gifts, not campaign donations.
Trial observers said the jury's decision bore out criticism from the earliest stages of the case that it was a reach. A former trial lawyer, Edwards was so unimpressed with the testimony against him that when the government rested, he turned to a member of his defense team and asked dismissively, "That's their case?"
To convict Edwards, prosecutors needed to show not only that the candidate knew about the secret payments, which he denied, but that he knew he was violating federal law by accepting them. The government was unable to produce any witness who said Edwards knowingly violated the law.
The investigation leading up to the trial lasted four years. Justice Department officials could seek another trial, but experts say it is not likely they will.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.