by Dr. Lillian Glass
Recent studies confirm what we have known for decades -- that the way a person looks and speaks can influence others' perceptions of guilt or innocence. As superficial and unfair as it seems, attractive defendants are judged more positively than unattractive ones.
However, in a mock jury trial, it was found that physically attractive defendants were evaluated with less certainty of guilt and received a less severe punishment than for those perceived as unattractive defendants.
So if female jurors are able to see photos of Casey Anthony’s partying, hear testimony of her past behaviors, and believe she used her looks or charm to manipulate family members, friends, and especially boyfriends to get what she wanted, a majority of them will not look favorably upon her.
On the other hand, male jurors' reactions are often the opposite. They tend to give attractive women the benefit of the doubt. Based on what we have seen in jailhouse letters sent to Casey behind bars by male fans, she has received a considerable number of compliments about her attractive physical appearance.