A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed that a number of upcoming cases in South Essex will be run in a pilot TRIAL BY FACEBOOK format.
According to the creators of the scheme, cases that are conducted on Facebook have a number of advantages over more traditional ‘courtroom and jury’ cases.
CPS Regional Divisional Director for South Essex and Canvey Miles Partridge said: ‘Our researchers have discovered the power of social media in recent years, and a number of traditional court cases have been forced into a state of mistrial because of people posting ‘contempt of court’ comments on Facebook.’
‘When a photographic piece of evidence is presented, hundreds or thousands of people seem to have an ability to detect guilt without having to go through the long and expensive process of a court case – this is something that the modern British judicial system cannot afford to ignore.’
‘We have a case coming up in August where someone has been accused of sexual activity with a child – this will be the first trial using the new scheme. The public will be provided with some photos and a few lines of key evidence, and then users will be invited to comment ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty.’
‘Once a set deadline passes, a digital foreman will count up the total responses before delivering a verdict to a residing judge over Facebook Messenger.’
The scheme has already won a lot of support in Southend, with a number of local parents hailing it as a ‘revelation’ in the fight against paedophiles.
Concerned mum-of-loads Carrie Shnide said: ‘When that foreign guy had his camera out on Southend Seafront in April we had all of these do-gooders saying that he couldn’t be prosecuted due to a lack of evidence. Surely standing by kids with a camera is enough evidence in itself.’
‘Thousands of my friends knew what he was up to as soon as his picture was put on all the local parenting and buy/sell groups, but the so-called police did nothing. How are we supposed to keep are kids safe these days?’
‘With trial by Facebook he would have been locked up by now. This new scheme is a victory for democracy.’