Discussion has been intense and reactions to the verdict have varied; at least one YouTuber took it upon themselves to interview Shanghai residents on their thoughts on the trial and verdict:
Reads the introduction to the video:
For establishment artist and Olympic venue designer Ai Weiwei on his Sina blog, posting videos which have since been deleted of the crowd assembled outside of the Shanghai #2 Intermediate People's Court on the day of Yang's trial just prior and after the trial was held, after having having applied to attend it himself and then denied, were all decisions made after having written a post [zh] calling on his readers to take action in support not just of Yang, but for rule of law in China itself:
But to give up, to lose hope, and say it's all just futile, to sit and wait until they pull the trigger, is part of what people are cursing as a rotten sin.
Things are not that simple, though; the Yang Jia case is no longer about some guy that can just be ignored. Through his readiness to die, a single citizen has not only put China's judicial fairness to the test, but its confidence in and stance on social justice as well, awakening China's awareness of civil liberties. The thing that Shanghai just doesn't get is that China is nothing like life along The Bund, in fact it's far more complicated than you could ever imagine.
The Yang Jia case is by no means over; the sentence against him, only illustrates these fraudsters’ desire to defile the sanctity of the law. Stained are the souls that decided upon this obscene fate, people who in the end are unable to break free from their logic which forsakes our people, the abuse of power and spite for the law. We ought to show them, that this time, they will have to pay a price for their stupidity.
I call upon the state to retry the Yang Jia case, through an open and transparent judicial process, with a public and legal trial, one that upholds the constitution, as a test of the resolve and strength of China's judicial reforms.
You and I are the same, in that as Chinese people, we believe that the state has made unremitting efforts toward implementing social justice and judicial reforms, believing that through legal means, the highest and most honored legal authority in the country, the Supreme People's Court, can and will resume its duties.
Please use your precious time, and write down your thoughts on the Yang Jia case, and through action, call for fairness and justice.
Call upon the national leaders to bring the Central Disciplinary Committee, the Central Politics & Law Committee, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Supreme People's Court, the Public Security Bureau and the Ministry of Justice together to form a joint investigative team, to get to the bottom of the origins of the Yang Jia case, and to investigate the illegal conduct of a closed-door sentencing; rectify the Shanghai PSB, Procuratorate and Courts; clean up those local forces working against the state and disregarding national laws; uphold the unification of the national legal system and the authority of the constitution.
Supreme People's Court
#27 Minxiang, Dongjiao
Indie blogger Robert Mao takes a look [zh] at the logic of Yang's case having been held in secret:
其实结果大家是能预料的，这些事实只不过进一步再次强化了大家对目前这套体系的认识而已。 对于类似我过去那样，或者类似杨佳过去那样，对司法体系的公正性还存在一丝幻想的人，可以说是进一步的棒喝 －－该醒醒了。
More on the ‘legal consultant’ mentioned by Mao comes from lawyer and elected official Xu Zhiyong has also written [zh] on this, offering an analysis of the case and all the legal and constitutional holes in how it has been handled. Xu starts by pointing out that Yang's appointed lawyer, Xie Youming, as legal counsel for the People's Government in Shanghai's Zhabei district, where the crime took place and the trial was held:
To refuse to reveal the truth, to forbid media discussion, to refuse lawyers willing to speak out any involvement, to refuse holding the trial in a neutral location, to bar journalists and the public from attending, to bar the accused's family from attending, all of this, further exacerbates the public's distrust in the judiciary.