A thing that bothers me for a quite long time is the media's influence over the common folk here in Germany.
I'm glad I live in a country that abolished the death sentence a long time ago.
However, from time to time when newspapers like the German version of "The Sun" (Bild-Zeitung) publish their sensational articles about a recent topic, for example the murder of Mirco, a 10-year-old little boy, people start to rage about our judicial system.
Furious Facebook posts demand the culprit should be beheaded, stoned, castrated or punished with a fanciful combination of those. In one of our regular courts, they claim, the murderer will only get a ridiculous lax form of punishment anyway.
What especially bothers me about all of this is how many "Likes" and comments those posts get. Everyone spouting in their most primitive way possible about how the perpetrator is a "insert random curse word here" and should be put to death.
The problem here, as I see it, is that those people don't bother to use any rationality or whatsoever, they fully commit to their most primitive emotions. Basically, there is no harm in that, but with topics like that, it is indeed harmful. In my opinion they should consider all of the factors before they build their opinion, and do some research beforehand. For example, many prisoners sitting on the death row turn out to be innocent before or after their execution in the USA. What would you do if you were in a jury that decided that a person's life has to end, and they turn out innocent? Basically, you are no better than a murderer yourself.
The more emotions stir up about a certain topic, the more rationality is lost. But exactly that is what a jury or a judge need to pass a fair sentence. A good example for this is the film "12 Angry Men" (imdb Link). A lone juror is not certain about the suspect’s guilt and stands against the others, while trying to convince them of his doubts. He slowly manages to do so and in the end, the suspect is declared innocent.
tl; dr-Version: Don't rage so much when building your opinion, use more rationality.