The lawyers handling the Aaron Hernandez slowly-churning prosecution will continue to be prevented from talking about the case.
In February, the judge presiding over the trial issued a so-called “gag order” aimed at slamming the door on leaks to the media from “law enforcement sources” that could tend to make people think that the available evidence against Hernandez in connection with the murder of Odin Lloyd along with the complete lack of an alternate explanation means that Hernandez did it.
On Monday, an appeals-court judge declined to modify the gag order. Prosecutors weren’t happy with the outcome.
“The district attorney is surprised and disappointed,’’ spokesman Gregg Miliote told the Boston Globe. “But he won’t be able to comment until he has read through the entire decision.’’
While none of it should matter if there’s no intention to engage in tomfoolery, shenanigans, or another fancy multi-syllabic word that refers to mischief, the prosecutor surely is concerned about being accused incorrectly of violating the order, especially since the prosecutor previously asked the judge presiding over the case to step aside due to concerns of general bias against the prosecutor’s office.
Still, nearly 10 months after the murder, the fact that the process remains trapped in procedural nuance should be surprising disappointing for everyone involved. Hernandez remains in jail without bail. He deserves to stand trial sooner rather than later.
Then again, the delay gives his lawyers a full and fair chance to come up with a way to conjure reasonable doubt. The American protection against innocent people wrongfully being jailed (a concept which has been flawless in execution over the last 200-plus years) gives defendants who can afford it the opportunity to hire lawyers sufficiently smart, charming, and resourceful to mesmerize a jury into rejecting a mountain of evidence that should erase all doubt, reasonable and unreasonable.
But that never happens. Anywhere. For anyone. In any setting.