When a topic trends on TikTok, it can gain relevance in the news in the ways it hasn't in years. Just recently, a group of TikTok users discovered the story of Lyle and Erik Menendez and decided to shine a light on the case. Now, some are wondering whether all this new attention means that the Menendez brothers may actually get a new trial.
Who are the Menendez brothers?
The Menendez brothers gained national attention in the 1990s after they were put on trial and eventually convicted for murdering their parents. Initially, the brothers tried to make it look like their parents' murders were connected to organized crime, but it eventually became clear that they had committed the murders themselves.
The details of the case were brutal, but the brothers gained plenty of public sympathy after it became clear that they had only killed their parents following years of sexual and emotional abuse. After Lyle and Erik threatened to expose their father's abuse, they said he threatened to kill them, which is what ultimately led them to murder their parents. Now, TikTok users are learning about their story, and the brothers are gaining a new wave of sympathetic voices.
Are the Menendez brothers getting a new trial?
Now that their story has become widely known on TikTok, there's a growing movement calling for the brothers to receive a new trial. TikTok users have come to their defense, and a website that has interviews with the brothers that focus on their claims against their father has received a surge in traffic in recent months as the brothers have become more and more popular on the platform.
The Menendez brothers were initially tried separately, and both juries wound up deadlocked. As a result, the brothers were tried again, this time together. They were found guilty at this trial and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Currently, the brothers are in custody at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego, California.
A second trial for the brothers is all but impossible.
Although users on TikTok may be eager to see the Menendez brothers stand trial again, the chances that they'll get tried again for the same crime are all but impossible. The same crime cannot be tried twice unless new evidence emerges that may materially change the outcome of the case, and that seems like a pretty remote possibility in this case.
TikTok users who are eager to see the brothers freed could do so in other ways, though. Although the brothers have worked to appeal the verdict, those appeals have been largely unsuccessful. They could work hard to petition the president to issue the brothers with a pardon, which would allow them to be released from jail immediately.
Although this pardon may seem like a remote possibility, it's more likely than it may appear. What's more, it may be the best way for those eager to see the Menendez brothers go free to get their wish. It would be a controversial pardon, but it's the best hope crusading TikTok users have.