Dress the Part (and Wear Glasses)
Let's say you've been accused of a horrible violent crime. You can probably guess that before you go to court, your lawyer is going to ask you to shower and maybe wear some long sleeves to cover up your "I HEART VIOLENT CRIME" tattoo. But the science of how to dress a defendant to look innocent goes way beyond that. For instance, don't be surprised if your lawyer makes you throw on a pair of glasses.
"OK, but also stop looking like a murderer."
Yes, it's the old "glasses = harmless nerd" stereotype, but it does work. Studies show that we see men wearing glasses as emasculated and less forceful. In other words, less capable of violence. That's bad news for a guy at a WWE audition but good news for a violent offender putting his life at the mercy of the court. That's why seasoned defense lawyers are all for slapping glasses onto their clients on court day.
The tinier his glasses, the ... bigger his innocence?
The science shows that it works, too -- they did an experiment with two fake defendants, one white, one black. Both were photographed with and without glasses. More than 200 "jurors" were given one of the four pictures and told that the person in the picture was accused of snatching a woman's purse and cutting her face with a box cutter. Damn, scientists, that's ... weirdly specific. Anyway, in the experiment, adding glasses reduced the percentage of "guilty" verdicts by 20 percent. Note: This only works for violent crime. If you're accused of a white-collar nerd crime, the glasses lead to more guilty verdicts.
But let's say glasses are not an option for you. Maybe you're using your courtroom appearance to land a modeling contract, or maybe you don't have a nose. That's OK. Lawyers think you can still use your attire to manipulate the judge and jury. Kidnap victim turned bank robber Patty Hearst, for example, intentionally dressed in clothes that were too big for her during her trial. The XXLs were supposed to make her look frail and small, like a victim. During their trial for murdering their parents, the Menendez boys switched from tailored suits to pastel sweaters, presumably in the hope that the jury would confuse both of them with Carlton Banks.
"I'm telling you, it was that damned William Smith, your honor!"