Not to mention trial by FB and G+ too.
When Brooks and Coulson appeared at Leveson, every bugger on Twitter had an opinion about their guilt, usually on a theme of “as sin”.
Now they’ve been charged, there’s going to be a shitstorm on all the social media – it’ll be as if the principle of sub judice had never existed. Add that to what’s gone on at Leveson, and the hard of thinking, by the time the trial comes around, will have successfully wrecked the case against them, and probably the other six.
Why? Simple, a jury has, by law, to be unprejudiced, and the more people run their digital mouths on Twitter and elsewhere about the case, the more it will become impossible to find 12 people with absolutely no opinion on the matter.
And you can bank on it that lawyers, not just for Brooks and Coulson, but for all 8, and any others who are subsequently charged (and let’s not forget Cameron, too, has a dog in this fight – if Brooks and Coulson are found guilty this will bite him in the arse), will be monitoring Twitter, FB, G+, and whatever others there might be 24/7, and every tweet or update mentioning any of the charged will be recorded. And frankly, if they’re not already doing that, they’re asleep at the wheel, because I sure as hell would.
No matter what we might feel about Brooks and Coulson – personally, I know bugger all about the others – let’s never lose sight of the fact the everybody, even a murderous psychopath found up to his or her elbows in the guts of their latest victim, is innocent until proven guilty. Everybody.
All trial by Twitter, etc, will do is give the defence a cast-iron claim that a fair trial is impossible (personally, for Brooks and Coulson, I think it already is impossible).
So in the interests of justice, let’s all shut the fuck up, and not screw up due process by blathering all over the web.
And if you won’t do it in the interests of justice, do it in the interests of self-preservation – under the rules of sub judice anyone who mouths off publicly about an active case – and as of now all 8 cases are active – can be banged up for contempt of court (the contempt exists even before the court sits for the trial).
There are people with some powerful friends involved (in addition to Cameron), who might well be tempted to insist that the police or the CPS hit Twitter and others with more court orders to take down accounts and release personal details than a hound’s got fleas – contempt of court is, after all, a criminal offence.
Have a nice day…