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Trials & Litigation

Defendants Increasingly Don ‘Hipster’ Glasses; Murder Prosecutor Gets New Look on the Record

Posted Mar 29, 2012 8:46 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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When five murder defendants showed up for their March trial in nonprescription eyeglasses, a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., made sure that jurors were aware of the new look.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Brittin asked the star witness against the defendants whether he had ever seen any of the accused men wearing eyeglasses before, the Washington Post reports. The answer was no.

According to the Post, nonprescription “hipster” glasses have become something of a sensation at Washington, D.C., courthouses. Inmates trade them before hearings or obtain them from family members. Sometimes lawyers give them to their clients.

The five defendants are on trial for a string of shootings that killed five people. Defense lawyers say their clients’ glasses are just part of a professional look. But some prosecutors following the trial suggest something more sinister is afoot.

“They’re masks,” one anonymous prosecutor told the newspaper. “They’re designed to confuse the witness and influence the jury.”

Hat tip to Pat’s Papers.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Jurors Less Likely to Convict Defendants Wearing Glasses, Say Lawyers and 2008 Study”

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