Okay. Now I’m pissed off.
All weekend, the news was filled with tweets and squawks about the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, about how “the system had failed,” and how the jurors, now released from their sequestration, were receiving threats and messages of a most vicious nature. The public seemed to want to blame the jurors, and not the laws or the prosecution.
Being on a jury is a completely thankless job. We put jurors down for not being clever enough to get out of their civic responsibility, and then we pillory them for complying with their oath of office. Thus, yesterday, I posted my support of the jury. They had a difficult job, did it conscientiously, and were being punished for it.
But by the end of the day, the Twitterverse blew up again. This time they were outraged by the news that Juror B37 had signed with a literary agent and intended to write a book about her experience. No book deal had been made. She and her agent were just talking about the possibility of writing a book. That didn’t matter to the Twitterati, though, and they went ballistic, got nasty, and started a petition, and stopped the “outrage” in its tracks.
But the Twitterverse got it wrong.
The outrage is not that this woman, Juror B37, was thinking about writing a book of her experience in the trial. Juror B37 is by all reports a quiet, middle-class, middle-aged worker. She has committed no crime. She has performed a civic duty that most of the Twitterati try to shirk. She and five other jurors were sequestered, hidden from their families and the public during the course of a highly publicized trial. She and her co-jurors sat and listened and weighed the evidence, and then rendered a considered verdict which was–by all legal analysis of the trial that I’ve read–the only verdict they could have returned.
No. That’s not the outrage.
The outrage is that the Twitterati, led by people like the anonymous @MoreAndAgain (aka Cocky McSwagsalot) have applied their prejudice to Juror B37. They have disparaged her, libeled her, imputed the failure of the prosecution’s case to her, accused her of dereliction of her duty as a juror, and have successfully bullied her into dropping all plans to write a book on the subject of her experience.
The Twitterverse has ganged up on Juror B37, eliminated for her a chance to relay her experience to an obviously ignorant public, closed an avenue whereby we might have further discussion of the ridiculous laws that went into this case, and also eliminated for her a way to build some extra income for her retirement.
And these bullies did all this without any facts, without any empathy, and without any shame.
That is outrageous.
I’m disgusted by it.