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Should Judges Really Be Listening to Whiners on Facebook?

Posted by on May. 8, 2012 at 9:30 PM
  • 15 Replies

Pop quiz. Who should decide the fate of the grandmother charged with making her 9-year-old granddaughter forced to run until she died?Facebook or a jury? If you're think justice forSavannah Hardin would be best served inside a courthouse, my apologies. It seems the web thinks they own the rights to determine how things should play out for the women police think are responsible for a 9-year-old dying.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. The public weighing in on criminal cases from that of Hardin to George Zimmerman (the man charged in the death of Trayvon Martin) have judges concerned that the idea of a "fair trial" is dead. But what did they expect?

People have always talked about issues in the news. Only thanks to social media, we now have a forum that's seen 'round the world to express our views. It may not have been what our forefathers anticipated when they wrote the freedom of speech into our Constitution, but its what came of it.

And there is benefit to having your say on Facebook or Twitter or whatever form of social media you choose. It means you're getting involved. Finally! People are engaged in the justice system!

We live in a society where serving on a jury is technically a civic duty, but one we begrudge. Being involved makes too many people groan. And yet, people have opinions. And the more they voice them, especially in forums where they are heard, the more powerful they feel, the more empowered, perhaps to get off of their butts, shut down the computer and go and do something.

Agree to join a jury in a horrific case like the death of a poor 9-year-old forced to run until she collapse. Vote against an amendment that would cost same-sex couples the right to marry. Whatever it is, social media may not make prosecutors and judges happy because of the complications it causes, but at least it's empowering people to feel like they have a voice.

How has social media gotten you more involved in an important case like Savannah Hardin's?

by on May. 8, 2012 at 9:30 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on May. 9, 2012 at 9:58 AM


by Desiree on May. 9, 2012 at 2:06 PM

 I don't know that it has, I seldom bother to read such things on fb and I certainly don't comment.

On the other hand I do comment on here.

by Bronze Member on May. 9, 2012 at 2:12 PM
I think it is dangerous to go off the public opinion of social networks. Articles, videos, everything can be altered in the favor the author wants. Let the courts do what they have to legally and constitutionally do.

There will be riots and deaths after many of these cases are done. I mean even in the Casey Anthony case there are videos of mothers hauling their young children late at night to yell at the home. Terrified children who should've been removed from their care immediately!

There is a time and place for everything, so many can't grasp that concept.
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by Renee on May. 9, 2012 at 5:51 PM

geeze is right

by Kerry on May. 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

I'm not involved in that case, but other cases have caught my eye because of social media, I tend to look up stories that do pique my curiousity and I don't trust one or two sources to give me the right story.

I have seen many stories show up in my immediate area, things I saw or experienced myself, and the news gets all the "facts" skewed up.

by on May. 9, 2012 at 8:10 PM

I'm not involved in discussions like that on FB. Seldom do my friends post anything related to current events or politics.

by Vanna on May. 9, 2012 at 8:44 PM

I understand that things are going to be talked about on social networks.. although, it is up to the jury to keep their face out of such sites when the trial is going on. That is part of being a juror. I know that sounds harsh.. but jurors are to sit there and hear the testimony given by both sides of the court. The public hears what the News broadcasters want everyone to know... and if a specific broadcaster is 1 sided.. that is going to make all of his/her followers 1 sided as well.. because chances are that the broadcaster is going to exaggerate some things and leave other things out. 

by on May. 10, 2012 at 2:34 AM

if one doesn't talk about it online they are talking about it to people they meet's human nature, no I don't see a problem with sharing opinions on such controversial cases........

I have not heard about this child dying, have to look it up.........

by on May. 10, 2012 at 2:37 AM

I just read about that little is horrible, poor little girl......

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