If defense attorneys get their way, Twitter could save convicted murderer Steven Hayes from the death penalty.

Attorneys for Hayes, Hayes, who a jury voted to execute last month for brutally murdering three members of a Cheshire, Conn. family, have already filed court documents that reveal their plans for an appeal, the New York Times reported. Their argument? That reporters’ constant use of Twitter during the trial created a “circus atmosphere” that unfairly swayed the jury against Hayes. The attorneys say that more than 140,000 tweets were sent during the course of the trial.

“The daily crush of media tweets, cameras and reporters outside the courthouse was unlike anything ever seen here in New Haven and maybe statewide,” the lawyers wrote in the documents, according to the Times.

Clarification: December 2, 2010

This post has been clarified to reflect that, while Hayes was sentenced to death by the judge today, last month the jury voted to convict Hayes of six counts that carry the death penalty.