Everyone seems to have an opinion on high-profile trials, but justice is not Big Brother.
As a blogger, I’m contractually obliged to have an opinion on everything. Every week I must set off on another tirade of conjecture and waffle designed to infuriate/validate you, the reader.
But here’s one topic where I simply don’t have an opinion, other than to know that any opinion I venture is otiose: the Rebekah Brooks verdict.
Brooks, former chief executive of News International, was today cleared of all charges relating to the phone-hacking investigation following an eight-month trial.
The jury heard, in often excruciating detail, about her work and private life, before coming to its decision. Case, as it were, closed.
Yet that’s not enough for some. For the twitterati out there this verdict was not enough: many had wrongly assumed her guilt and expected the jury to follow.
Some reaction is only natural – and Twitter, let’s remember, is merely echoing water-cooler conversations in a public forum.
But the response has already gone beyond idle gossip. One legal website has even gone as far as running a poll asking: ‘It’s been announced that Rebekah Brooks has been cleared of all charges relating to phone hacking. Do you agree with this verdict?’
Extraordinary. Especially from a constituency that would normally passionately defend trial by jury.
Perhaps we should dispense with the jury system altogether and just decide all cases on a public vote, hosted by Davina McCall? The audience can boo the defendant as they walk free and we can have a spin-off show (Baby Bailey perhaps?) debating the verdict.
Or alternatively, we could accept that due process has delivered a not guilty verdict and move on. Let’s stop undermining the jury system.