It looks like the author has tried to make a subtle point in this book. What he is saying is that the execution order for Socrates had public backing. It wasn't a malicious verdict by a group of conspirators with a personal score to settle. Still it doesn't add up to much. After all, you cannot take someone's life based on lame assumptions like Gods getting angry because they were teased by a wily old guy. Doesn't matter whether such a verdict had the sympathy of a hundred or a thousand people. It was another blasphemy charge leading up to an innocent scholar's death.