The wonderful thing about blogs is that you can say whatever you want. But as with any other freedom, you have to be willing to accept the responsibilities and consequences of your actions.
In New Hampshire, one guy who has a blog. On that blog, he discussed an upcoming trial of an accused rapist. He described the defendant as “local riff raff.” Later, he groused at being called for jury duty, saying it would suck up a lot of his time as defendants tried to prove their innocence.
Then he got put on the jury of the “local riff raff,” and helped to convict him.
Now the riff raff’s attorney wants a new trial, saying that the blogger had pre-judged the case and had a fundamental misunderstanding of the justice system — the defendant doesn’t have to prove his innocence, the prosecution has to prove guilt.
The story says that Vachon’s blog came up during the trial, and the judge ruled it didn’t disqualify him. But the attorney still wants a new trial.
As someone who is both a blogger and anti-rapist, I am pretty comfortable that the jury wasn’t swayed by this guy’s postings and what he may have brought into the jury room. But I have to say the lawyer has a pretty good case.
If he’s guilty (and I suspect he is, so that ought to exempt ME from his jury), he’ll most likely get convicted again. I want this schmuck locked up, and locked up for a long time — but done right.