"Eye" "Heard" about Johnny: Public Eye on Legal Issues

By Rachel Houng and Tina Torre


The recent popularity surrounding the Depp v. Heard case has prompted mixed responses regarding the reliability of the justice system. The public can spread awareness through social media by providing more evidence for justice to be determined. However, the media can also sway those in power to appease the public and have the potential to misinform society.


The speed of which information can be spread through media increases the pressure to address claims that the public is making. The public is accustomed to receiving information rapidly and may push for a verdict before the whole case has been evaluated. Due to the fact that the justice system requires verification of all components of the case, members involved may be unable to consider the fact that there are other factors influencing the case because a verdict may be reached before the information gets to court.


In addition, a verdict may be predetermined based on the public’s stand. For instance, in the Depp v. Heard case, it is plausible that Depp was favored over Heard because of the roles that he had played within the entertainment industry. The intensity of devotion to Depp may have led to bias in the jury in order to appease fanatics.


Historically, people have had a sway in public mindset, impacting government decisions, as seen in the Red Scare. McCarthyism took a hold of American society because of the public’s fear of communism. If the fear of communism was able to lead the public into believing the claims that McCarthy made without evidence, the justice system would inevitably be swayed by the public. The public’s general stance towards a certain issue creates a mindset that may develop bias.


Source by Lindsay Kim

The public frequently looks into the justice system, passing their own judgement in regards to court cases.


Despite the belief that limiting media access to the jury and the judge may result in neutrality pertaining to a certain issue, high profile cases are often open to the public. For instance, the Depp v. Heard case took over the media with many journalists filling the room. It should also be noted that in today’s society, the tampering of informants’ opinions is very plausible due to widespread access of technology.


The reason why the public is often unreliable is because they are unable to fully understand the intricacies of what goes on in the court. As a result, the public can act ignorantly and impulsively which directly influences the jury. When it comes to social issues, individuals often conform to the most popular perspectives being posted on social media, instead of conducting personal research. These perspectives are frequently derived from brief recordings, which may be taken out of context.


“All men are created equal,” yet, the current justice system allows an individual or entity to permanently alter the fate of someone on trial. With this in mind, the inability to fully eliminate personal biases makes it essential to consider as diverse of perspectives as possible. As members of society, we should conscientiously work towards becoming aware of our own biases, understanding how our experiences influence our decisions and considering opinions of others that may differ from our own.