CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — To many nationwide, the words of a now-convicted murderer lingered in a court on Friday.
“I’m innocent. I would never hurt my wife Maggie, and I would never hurt my son Pau Pau,” former South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh said.
For the last six weeks, people watched another major murder trial unravel in real time — it’s the latest major case to dominate the airwaves.
“So what happens after this?” Dr. Sara Levens said. “What does it catalyze? And so that’s something that we don’t really know quite yet … Trayvon, O.J. Simpson, they had a huge catalyst effect.'”
The UNC Charlotte associate psychology professor believes all eyes were on Murdaugh’s trial because of a combination of issues like the current social upheaval and society of uncertainty — especially with how justice in the nation often plays out.
“Privilege who gets away with what, you know, how the rich and famous can cover things up and how there seems to be different rules and things like that,” Levens said. “All of those things are represented in this trial, and they all represent certain things that are going on in the world right now.”
Levens says social media also played a significant role in how prevalent the trial was — people wanted to pay close attention and weigh in on how the trial would conclude. Many wondered if justice would be served or would the prominent lawyer get past the law again?
“Social media allows the regular everyday individual to be a part of the discourse about a significant event. And so, and that’s a very powerful thing in terms of engagement, and so people will decide if they’re they’re going to engage strongly, and they can actually be a part of the conversation,” Levens said.