Social media has had a huge impact on how people receive and perceive various current events, and one thing that has been creating quite a controversy is true crime YouTube channels. Many of these channels gather views and make massive profits by discussing current, real-world true crime events.
One of the biggest crime stories over the past several months has centered around Bryan Kohberger.
Bryan Kohberger is a former Washington State Ph.D. criminology student who is accused of murdering four students last year. The original crime was highlighted for weeks on mainstream media, so it’s no surprise that YouTubers also jumped on the trend and started discussing the case, too. Once Bryan Kohberger emerged as a primary suspect, several channels started to focus on the man’s life, past, criminal charges, and plenty of theories, too.
Now, Kohberger is going through the criminal justice process as courts attempt to suss out whether he’s guilty or not. Unfortunately, social media influencers, YouTubers, and other media outlets are all starting to cause quite a circus around the ordeal, which may be hindering justice according to Kohberger’s legal team.
Kohberger’s lawyers are now requesting that the courtroom bans cameras for the remainder of Kohberger’s hearings and trial. According to lawyers, several “camera-wielding courtroom observers” are doing nothing but creating “blatantly sensationalistic and prejudicial…fodder” for those on social media. What’s more, lawyers have noted that online communities and influences are not bound by the normal notions of journalistic integrity. Social media influencers also have the ability to reach more people than traditional media outlets.
All that being said, lawyers worry that online content regarding Kohberger could create prejudice in a potential jury pool. Further, Kohberger’s lawyers are arguing that the cameras and social media presence in court are interfering with his ability to defend himself.
It remains to be seen whether courts will uphold the lawyer’s requests or not. So far, the courts have asked guests in the courtroom with cameras to not focus “exclusively” on Kohberger, but lawyers argue that most guests are not adhering to that order.
True Crime Channels: Do They Impact Justice?
Kohberger’s very public case does bring up some challenging questions. Are true crime channels impacting our system’s ability to levy justice? Are Kohberger’s rights as an accused citizen getting curbed due to the social media circus?
These questions do need to be addressed because accused citizens do still have certain rights that must be upheld. Our justice system is founded on the belief that everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. We cannot let vigilante social media influencers to take away the foundational rights of the accused.
Have you recently been accused of a crime? Do you feel as if your rights are being violated or your chance at seeking out justice is being hindered?
If so, then it’s important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible about what’s happening. If you’re in New York or a nearby area, then schedule a consultation with our team to learn more about how we can help.