So a British tabloid that has been fanning the flames of the frenzied mob for eight years now reports that the FBI is investigating some of its readers. Pretending to be neutral at this late date, after years of smearing and base casuistry masquerading as ‘journalism’.
The FBI can investigate away, and contrary to the impression given by the article, not all the lunatics are in the UK; there are plenty of people in the US who are driven mad by high profile acquittals, especially when the beneficiary is a pretty young woman.
We suspect this will go on for quite some time. Our standing recommendation to the exonerated is to live as obscurely and remotely as possible in a country other than the one that convicted you in the first place. Of course this reasonably requires the exoneree to be independently wealthy. And that is exactly what those responsible for the wrongful conviction are obligated to ensure: that their victim be made independently wealthy.
Wealthy or not, the exoneree will live out a substantially diminished life. There’s no fixing it. But leaving an exoneree to fend for herself, defenseless, in a world in which so many want to see her suffering or dead is literally excruciating and utterly unconscionable.
If you let loose the dogs of war in error, there’s no going back. Prosecutors should think hard about what they set in motion when they file charges.
Update: Radley Balko points out that we’re very, very lousy at compensating those we have injured through major malfunctions of the criminal justice process. That has to improve.