Being a Pats fan not enough to get dismissed from Hernandez jury

By: Melissa Randall

The judge in the murder trial against former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez out of Bristol County is whittling down potential jurors. About 20%  have already been dismissed. Over several hours the questionnaires they will out were reviewed and both legal teams took turns raising concerns. By the end of Thursday Judge Susan Garsh excused about 265 people from being on the trial.

“As an attorney you want to make sure that the juror is fair and impartial, Ubiased. So these questions, essentially are seeking the answer to that to the best of the ability of the attorney to come up with these questions,” said Frank Camera, a criminal defense attorney out of Fall River.

There were many reasons why potential jurors were dismissed. They range from medical concerns, to hardships and personal connections to those involved with the case. One person was excused for saying they though Hernandez was guilty. However, the New England Patriots being their favorite team or Hernandez their favorite player wasn’t enough to get them out of jury duty. Camera explained the reasoning behind that. 

“One can be fond of the Patriots. One can be have tattoos which Aaron Hernandez does. that doesn’t necessarily mean that juror is going to find for the defendant. They’ll have to weigh the evidence  as it  is,” he said.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the 2013 slaying of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. From the beginning his defense team has been skeptical that Hernandez can get a fair trial because their client played in the NFL.

“It’s a difficult task regardless of the trial and in cases like this where its a high profile case it make it that much more challenging,” said Camera who expects it to be a lengthy process.

The first 60 people remaining were sent an e-mail Thursday afternoon notifying them they’d been called back for further questioning. They will have to report first thing Friday morning.

The final jury will be made up of 12 jurors and 6 alternates.

Around 1,500 people filled out the questionnaires.

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