While I didn’t follow the Jackson trial, I did expect him to get off despite a gut feeling that he was probably guilty. I’m aware that asexuality is trendy in some parts, but that just sounds so unnatural to me. What does sound natural to me is that Jackson might have sexual urges that are rightly condemned as perverted and which he should suppress. As for the often floated idea that no parent would allow their child to be interfered with for money; that’s sadly far from the truth as a friend on mine who’s worked in child protection for Manchester Social Services can testify only too readily.
But there’s another important principle involved. Everyone should be entitled to fair trial and when someone’s acquitted we should all shut up and accept it. At least that’s the ideal. The thing is, the jury’s been able to speak out and cast so much doubt on the validity of their own verdict that the Daily Mail can run ‘We think he did it, say jurors’ on its front page. So there’s little point in an insignificant blogger, like myself, trying to bow to a higher principle.
In an editorial only available offline, the Manchester Evening News argues that such openness among juries is a good thing. They say our knowledge of the Jackson jurors’ deliberations should be reassuring as it shows how competent and responsible juries are. This is the same jury that complained about the alleged victim’s mother jabbing her finger and looking at them, implying the jury followed the dubious principle that all rude people are liars. In truth, this openness can only cast doubt upon verdicts and the fairness of a trial is greatly enhanced by juries who remain silent.