• Clothes Important in Trial

Clothes Important in Trial

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 21 – Clothes are playing an important part in the Charles Manson trial, according to Ron Postal, Director of the National Council of Men’s Fashions.

“Think how different Manson and the girls look now from when they were arrested,” Postal points out. “They’re cleaner looking and they’ve traded their hippie clothes for plain ‘straight’ clothes.”

A number of people have suggested that the jury should be seeing the defendants in their pre-arrest appearance. “People have told me they think it is practically suppression of evidence to see the Manson defendants out of their hippie look, says Postal. “They contend the defendants’ life style is an important issue, and their appearance is evidence of that style.”

Postal does not agree that the defendants should wear hippie clothes in court if justice is to be served. “Our first impressions of our fellow men are based on their clothes,” he explains, “and we all have conditioned responses to the way the other guy is dressed.

“If Manson and the girls wore hippie clothes in court, the jury would naturally respond to that image. You could call it ‘eye conditioning.’

“The danger is that then eye conditioning may limit the jury’s listening capacity. Instead of listening openly, they may only hear what, they expect to hear from ‘somebody dressed like that.’ Then justice is in trouble, because the testimony may not be judged on its own merit.”

Postal continues, “As the trial proceeds and the jury gets used to the hippie look, that initial response would probably wear off. But by then, some damage might already be done. Switching the defendants to a ‘straight’ look, on the other hand, takes away the barrier of difference. Now they look more like their peers to the jury, and their testimony can be listened to more openly.

“Although it may seem like distortion,” Postal concludes, “justice is probably better served by keeping the hippie image out of the courtroom.”

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2 Responses to Clothes Important in Trial

  1. Aaron Bredlau says:

    Did the girls and Charlie dress rather different from ‘straight’? At least some of the time.

  2. Aaron Bredlau says:

    I mean Didn’t?

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