Courtroom fashion gets cross-examined

Guilty or not? That's for you to judge. Outside the Juanita Kidd Stout Criminal Justice Center just might need fashion police along with those on the force. Chaser Ashley Johnson spent the morning outside since cameras aren't allowed inside the courthouse. She said the fashion is quite remarkable and it is more like a runway in a very different sense.

On a very damp and cold Tuesday you could spot a woman with snakeskin pants and matching red sneakers, Timberland boots with skinny sweatpants, hot pink pants, you name it.

Criminal defense attorney Shaka Johnson said all of those fashions should never be worn to a place that could determine someone's fate.

"We use to say dress like you're going to church and we realized people go to church in anything," Shaka Johnson said, "For men, I like to dress them in what seems natural, if the case doesn't lend itself to a suit and tie, then don't wear a suit and tie. But I do prefer a collar shirt, I do prefer long sleeves and khaki pants. It all boils to the trial you're on. Acting like you're in the court of law and not acting like you're stopping by on a way to a game."

He recommends females looking ladylike. Johnson says in the nation's fourth-largest city, how someone looks can play quite a role in how a jury perceives them.

"A young man charged with narcotics offenses ought not a wear high-dollar tennis shoes, expensive jewelry, a Ferragamo belt, designer jeans and then it might come out later this person is unemployed. How is a jury going to look at a young man with $2,000 worth of designer fashion charged with narcotics who isn't currently unemployed?"

I believe most would say guilty. But switching gears after searching high and low, the fashion award of the day went to Brianna Harris who wore a leopard print coat, skinny jeans and ballerina flats to court. She said she wanted to look professional.

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