People tell me there was a lot of hate on the 60 Minutes Facebook page last night after the report on Kathleen Folbigg’s possible innocence. I couldn’t bring myself to read it. I was too gutted already.
There was a live poll afterwards on whether justice had been served. The verdict – 54% guilty, 46% not guilty.
Nothing like a trial by TV.
When the segment began, I started weeping. My husband came and sat beside me on the sofa and held me as the story unfolded.
I couldn’t even put into words why I was crying. Except I think it has something to do with being too close to it all, having just seen her that morning, imagining her alone in her cell watching it unfold on the screen.
But watching that footage of her children, the footage of her being questioned, the footage of experts proclaiming her innocence … it was all so harrowing.
I continued to weep through most of it, physically shaking with … what? Grief, shock, empathy …
I thought it was incredible television. The producer, Jo Townsend, did an amazing job in pulling it together. And lawyer/author Emma Cunliffe was incredibly powerful too – to face the cameras and profess so unequivocably that she thinks Kathy is innocent.
I doubt anything presented was enough to sway the true believers in their conviction that justice was done, but it’s the closest I’ve seen to a balanced view of the evidence in the case.
As one of my – impartial – Facebook friends said: “I think that’s probably the most evenly weighted major story on this case in my memory.”
Kathy was subdued when I saw her yesterday morning. Nervous about the direction the story would take and what her foster sister would say. She’s become so accustomed to being portrayed as a monster that the idea of being given a fair hearing seems almost impossible to her.
It was unsettling walking into the jail. Even the prison officer who processed my paperwork couldn’t help commenting about her appearing on TV that night. The officers and the inmates in the protection wing have apparently been buzzing about it.
I wonder what they are saying now. But, like those Facebook commenters, at the same time I don’t want to hear.
There is so much hate in the world, sometimes it feels like I can’t bear hearing or reading any more.
I’ve spent my life leaning to the right of the wing. But I find myself becoming less rigid about my blacks and whites, rights and wrong, as I age.
I no longer believe in eye for eye, tooth for tooth. All it does is sow a seed of ugliness in your soul.
All too often those who are baying for blood can’t possibly know enough to be sure or are too ignorant to open their minds to doubt.