Patriots’ Aaron Hernandez As Suspect: Let’s Withhold Judgment

The air has been filled with buzz the past few days over police and law enforcement’s interest in Aaron Hernandez, the New England Patriots Football player. Hernandez has become a person of interest in the investigation of the homicide of a Dorchester man, one 27 year-old Odin Lloyd, whose body was found last Monday about a mile from Hernandez’ home.

What I haven’t heard a lot about in all this buzz, is a little something called the “Presumption of innocence.” So far, police and investigators have searched Hernandez’ North Attleboro home (for about three hours yesterday, Sat. June 22 2013,) but no arrest has yet been made. The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office isn’t commenting; The Massachusetts State Police aren’t commenting; and the New England Patriots press office isn’t commenting. But from what I hear in public, a lot of people are commenting themselves, and a lot of them think they smell foul play here.

As a Boston Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer, I think these judgments are premature. Maybe Hernandez is implicated in this homicide. Maybe he wasn’t involved at all. Maybe his involvement was incidental, and he’s just too scared to talk. The point is, that those of us who aren’t directly involved in this homicide investigation, don’t know for sure what facts are or are not developing here,

In the meantime, let’s remember that little something called the presumption of innocence.