On the surface, it appears that the prosecution has a strong case against Aaron Hernandez for the murder of Odin Lloyd. If it were that strong, however, the prosecution perhaps wouldn’t be trying to get the judge assigned to the case to step aside.
At Wednesday’s pre-trial hearing, the prosecution acknowledged that a formal request will be made to Judge Susan Garsh that she recuse herself from the case.
The specific reasons for the request aren’t yet known, but this item from the Fall River (Mass.) Herald News points to a rocky history between Judge Garsh and the prosecutors handling the case.
In 2010, lead Hernandez prosecutor Bill McCauley “accused Garsh of being antagonistic toward prosecutors” during a different murder trial.
Per multiple Twitter reports, Judge Garsh didn’t seem to be thrilled by the prosecution’s intended course of action, which will be addressed at a future hearing. And it likely won’t be easy to persuade her to step aside, or to force a higher court to force her out.
Even so, if the prosecutors have concerns about Judge Garsh, calling her out could force her to be careful not to do anything that could be viewed as showing antagonism to the prosecution’s case.
The fact that the prosecution even has to make the request shows that the case as currently postured is far from perfect. With a very high standard of proof required for a conviction, it won’t take much to allow Hernandez’s lawyers to deliver an acquittal.