Aaron Hernandez is just getting comfortable with the court system
Michelle R. Smith, Yahoo:
The murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez began Friday with the judge telling the first batch of prospective jurors that they could still be chosen to sit on the panel even if they had heard about the high-profile case.
Hernandez, 25, is charged with killing Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semiprofessional football player from Boston who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee. At the time of the killing June 17, 2013, Hernandez had a $40 million contract with the Patriots.
The goal is to select 18 potential jurors. Six of these will be alternates. Bristol County Superior Judge Susan Garsh informed the jurors that their knowledge of the case would not preclude them from serving. The trial should be a lengthy process with over 300 witnesses on the prosecution's list of potential witnesses, including Patriots coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft.
The circus is back in town after more than 120 years. More than 1,000 people are expected to report as prosecutors and defense lawyers haggle over whom to seat on the jury.
Lizzie Andrew Borden (July 19, 1860 – June 1, 1927) was an American woman who was tried and acquitted in 1892 for the axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts. The case was a cause célèbre throughout the United States. Following her release from the prison in which she had been held during the trial, Borden chose to remain a resident of Fall River, Massachusetts, for the rest of her life, despite facing significant ostracism. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts elected to charge no one else with the murder of Andrew and Abby Borden; speculation about the crimes still continues more than 100 years later.
Bristol County Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh has allowed Hernandez' fiancee ,Shayanna Jenkins to attend the trial.
Prosecutors have said Jenkins lied dozens of times to the grand jury investigating Lloyd's killing, including when she said she couldn't remember where she disposed of a large box from the basement of their home that Hernandez apparently told her to get rid of. She had been granted immunity before her grand jury testimony.
In the Lizzie Borden trial, both the prosecution and the defense were represented by expert attorneys. The prosecution had former Massachusetts Attorney General, Hosea Knowlton. The defense had former Massachusetts Governor, Melvin Adams. After 145 witnesses took the stand, the 12 jurors acquitted Lizzie Borden of the double murder of her father and stepmother.
The trial of the 19th century was Lizzie Borden in 1894. The trial of the 20th century was O.J. Simpson in 1995. In the 21st century, we didn't have to wait long for the most famous trial. This trial will just be the beginning for Aaron Hernandez. Once Aaron gets the Fall River, MA. trial over, he will shift venues to downtown Boston. He faces separate murder charges in Boston, where he is accused of killing two men after one of them accidentally spilled a drink on him at a nightclub in 2012.
There are 12 jurors who have ringside seats to the Greatest Show on Earth. I wish I was one of them.
Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.