Granted, I’m not a lawyer; but, I see no correlation between the number of readers and right-versus-wrong; nor, do I doubt Judge Mills’ claim that attorneys, if not others, know judges read internet blogs. Given that, there are ample examples of attempts to influence the sentencing of those who entered pleas in USA v Scruggs and clearly that is wrong – and by far not the only example.
The cultural implications of these many examples provides insight about the impact earwigging on internet blogs has on the concept of justice for all. First, viewer count is not an accurate reflection of the number of readers because of the redistribution system in place. A count of one view may actually be a connection to a service that redistributes the post to hundreds, or even thousands of viewers.
Each viewer, in turn, has the potential to increase the distribution in a variety of ways including email or actual conversation. Consequently, a false statement can be so widely distributed it becomes the only truth known to the extent it is the actual truth that becomes subject to question.
The larger issue, however, is not how but how to recognize and what to do about attorneys who are earwigging on internet weblogs – particularly since there’s no way to pin the blame for this situation on Dickie Scruggs.
Judge Mills is to be commended for starting a timely conversation that needs to continue and will here on slabbled. Although, Sop and I are never certain if we’re the minority opinion or the voice of the silent majority, either suits us fine.
We host slabbed for the pleasure – the pleasure of giving hope to the slabbed – and the related pleasure of reminding our growing number of readers that not only are there are two sides to every story, the most popular version may or may not be true. Of course, if any are judges, they already know that.