Okay, that wasn’t a suprise. The man was going to be found guilty from the second he stepped into the courtroom, from the first photo in the Sun, from the first day of the trial. I doubt even if he had presented conclusive evidence to the contary, he’d have been given manslaughter instead. That isn’t the problem – the jury found him guilty, and that is accepted.
The scary thing is the “For The Children” attitude that appears to have sprung up today. Huntley had been questioned – and occasionally arrested – a number of times over his life for sexual advances towards underage girls. The prosecution had been hinting at this all though the trial, trying to pin sexual assault to the case, but because Huntley was only on trial for the murder of the girls, previous convictions were not allowed to be brought into consideration. He wasn’t being tried for them again.
He is now.
Trial by Media. Apparently every person who ever gets a job in – or near – a school must never ever have been so much as questioned over such a crime. Huntley, admittedly, possibly shouldn’t have been working in that school. A couple of questionings is one thing, but the 10 accusations over the past seven years raises some kind of flag. But should it? If I stand up and say “Hah! Joe Bloggs likes little girls!”, does that mean that Joe Bloggs can never work near children again? Even if it’s proven that Bloggs has never seen any female below the age of 40? Even if apologies are made, statements withdrawn, lies retracted. Is there allowed to be smoke without fire?
But the most worrying thing is that they – they, in this case, being the General Public – want tabs kept on anyone who is so much as linked with such a crime. This isn’t innocent until proven guilty, nor even guilty until proven innocent, this is guilty for being accused, and having this accusation follow you for the rest of your life.
Because, obviously, you can not reform criminals.