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Murder Defendant Marni Yang Not Allowed to Have Hair Done for Trial

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By James Norwood on March 03, 2011 12:08 PM

It may sound a little silly, or even weird, to hear about a woman who requested a stay in her court proceedings to get her hair done. Especially since her request was denied by the judge. However, when you hear that this woman will facea jury trial for murder, you may change your opinion.

Lawyers for defendant Marni Yang sought to put her murder trial on hold and asked to appeal Judge Christopher Stride’s ruling denying Yang a haircut, color and makeup application, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Yang has been in jail since her arrest in 2009 when she was charged with shooting and killing her rival, the pregnant Rhoni Reuter, in a jealous rage over ex-boyfriend former Chicago Bears player Shaun Gayle.

"Her appearance has declined," Yang's attorney, William Hedrick said of the two years Yang has been in jail. He pointed out that male inmates are allowed to be shaved and have haircuts before going to court. "She looks frankly like a crazy woman. She does not look like anyone Shaun Gayle would have a second of interest in."

A Cornell study discovered that unattractive defendants tend to get hit with longer, harsher sentences-- on average 22 months longer in prison. The study states that psycho-legal literature has known for decades that juries tend to favor good-looking defendants.

"Our hypothesis going in was that jurors inclined to process information in a more emotional/intuitive manner would be more prone to make reasoning errors when rendering verdicts and recommending sentences as opposed to rational processors. The results bore out our hypothesis on all measures," said lead author Justin Gunnell.

Perhaps Marni Yang's counsel would like to present the study to the judge?

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