There wasn't a lot of silence after the Ewen Macdonald murder trial.
It seemed like everyone had something to say.
And one of the things people had plenty to say about, was the accused's right to silence.
That stemmed from Ewen Macdonald exercising his perfectly established legal right not to take the stand at his trial.
His lawyer didn't actually have to give any reason for that. The onus in any trial is on the prosecution to prove its case. The accused doesn't have to prove a thing. There is no onus on them at all.
It was totally up to Macdonald whether he gave evidence or not. But his attorney Greg King did give a reason; namely that Macdonald's very lengthy interviews to police would speak for themselves. Fair enough.
Heck, did we hear about it after the trial!
A huge wave of public outcry on talkback and bulletin boards, the theme of which was along the lines that an accused should be compelled to give evidence, and if he didn't comply, he should give a reason, and the jury should be told, dammit! No more hiding behind a wall of silence!
As if any inference could ever be drawn from someone simply deciding not to take the stand, in an intimidating and unfamiliar public forum, to face a range of expertly-posed questions, designed to secure a guilty verdict.
Now compare that to another recent court case.
One that's also attracted media attention - albeit nowhere near the scale of the Ewen Macdonald case.
All Black Rene Ranger was charged with assault with intent to injure, after an incident outside a Whangarei tavern in 2009.
Like Macdonald, he didn't take the stand. Like Macdonald, the judge instructed the jury to read nothing into that decision. And like Macdonald, he was acquitted - a decision I am sure is absolutely sound.
Where is the outcry this time? Where are the same angry voices, saying that in the interests of justice, the court should hear from the accused himself?
It wasn't some trivial matter either. It was alleged Rene Ranger had punched and stomped on someone's head. Serious accusations he was totally cleared of by the jury's decision.
Sure, it wasn't a murder trial. But you either believe in the principle that an accused should have to give evidence, or you don't.
You can't just apply it to high-profile murder cases, or any other ones that pique your interest.
You have to apply it to all criminal cases. You have to have a common standard.
And that's a big problem, isn't it. Because if you put some 18-year-old who's accused of bashing a dairy owner for the till takings, in the witness box, pretty quickly he ain't gonna look too good - whether he did it or not.
Rene Ranger and Ewen Macdonald have probably never met and I doubt they ever will. But they have one shared experience.
They were both accused of a crime, they both exercised the same right perfectly legitimately, and they both were found not guilty.
It's just that in one case there was a huge stink, and in the other there isn't.
If they ever had a chat, I'm sure Rene Ranger and Ewen Macdonald would support each other's decision.
So maybe people need to have a bit more of a think about this right to silence issue.
Because it seems to me the critics are employing a double-standard here.
And maybe there needs to be a bit more talk about keeping silent.