A rager, as the defense suggests, with an unchecked “monster” (like the text messages submitted as evidence) inside? As if.
In the other corner: Mrs. Heard, also available in classic muted shades of gray and navy. She wears pantsuits or skirts to mid-calf; blouses completely buttoned up, often with ties or bows; tires and pumps. Tasty, but no telegraph costs. Her makeup is subtle; her jewelry, small. Her hair is done in a series of intricate 1930s updos, braids and buns, with the occasional strand just escaping its snares.
Her vibe is not victim or naive innocent or madonna, often a tactic for female defendants. (See Mrs. Sorokin, who sometimes wore white babydoll dresses during her trial appearances, or Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos, who carried a diaper bag.) Instead, Mrs. Heard suggested demure and capable girl Friday, from an era when women struggled to hear. – and when they did come to the aid of the home front and prove their mettle.
Unstable, in the prosecutor’s words? A fantasy? Obviously not.
Recognizing the role imaging plays in human bias when it comes to justice, right and wrong is simply recognizing all the ways both sides try to defend their case — the way the parties appeal, not just those in the chamber, who actually decide the legal outcome, but up to the court of public opinion. We humans are also judges and jury when it comes to public redemption stories and career arcs. The fans of both actors have made their views clear on social media, although Mr. Depp’s are more abundant and vocal.
There is a reason the Supreme Court wrote in 1976 in Estelle v. Williams that “the state, in accordance with the Fourteenth Amendment, cannot compel an accused to stand trial before a jury while dressed in recognizable prison clothes.” The outfit alone would likely tip the jury toward an assumption of guilt. (However, the court then ruled that if the defendant did not object to being dressed in such a “timely” manner, the trial could not later be declared unconstitutional.)