“Justice is blind” is a common, but incorrect, expression.
It is indisputable that that factors of age, sex, race, general attractiveness, style of dress, hairstyle, and more will factor into both whether or not an individual is convicted of a crime and in the severity of sentencing for those convicted of a crime.
Fig. 1: If the defendant were replaced by a featureless silhouette, it would be impossible for the defendant to be negatively impacted by existing prejudices.
Normally, someone accused of a crime is forced to sit in the trial room, but they typically have very little input into the actual trial.
Therefore, it’s not actually necessary that the person sitting at the defendant’s table actually be the defendant.
The proposal is as follows: the actual defendant can hire an attractive model (of a sex, race, age, etc. of their choosing) to represent them in the courtroom. This hired stand-in could be a well-spoken and attractive orator.
The jury and judge would never actually know who the real defendant was.
If this “proxy defendant” needs to take the witness stand, they could also be outfitted with a wireless earpiece so that the real defendant could supply information to the proxy, who would then actually be the one to relate it to the judge or jury.
As an additional point: it’s frequently possible to determine a defendant’s sex and race by just their name. This can be solved by assigning randomized names and/or numbers to the defendant and others involved in the case. (In fact, this is already done for jurors in America—”Juror Twelve” is unlikely to be a person’s actual name.)
Fig. 2: Even the most fair judge is at least somewhat influenced by the appearance of the defendant; for example, the be-suited golden man at left is unlikely to be judged as harshly as the unkempt gremlin at right.
PROS: Allows justice will actually be applied fairly, regardless of the appearance of the defendant.
CONS: Would further increase the advantage of wealthy defendants.