Thursday, July 25, 2013

Erasing Aaron Hernandez

Back in 1996, Arnold Schwartzenegger starred in a film titled "Eraser".  As a US marshal (John Kruger), his job was to erase the pasts of those that had entered the witness-protection program and, along the way, he managed to "erase" a few bad guys that would do them harm as well.

Front and center in the news these days is one Aaron Hernandez, a former tight end for the New England Patriots. Unlike those that ran afoul of John Kruger, and his rumored brother Freddie from different movies, Hernandez, though jailed, remains very much alive. Nonetheless, it appears he is also being erased, because of his alleged involvement in the death of one Odin Lloyd.  A few things to ponder....

Upon Hernandez being arrested, but BEFORE he was even charged, the Patriots released (fired) him. For such a valued player on the field, that seemed to be a bit hasty.

In the interim, the case has exploded into national, and international news. Scribes, talking heads, football fans, and even casual observers are closely paying attention as it unfolds. How does such a case become so sensational? Let's look at how the "system" typically works in this country.

When an "alleged" crime (see George Zimmerman) has been committed, the police gather evidence and present it to the prosecutors. Prosecutors issue warrants, arrests are made, and charges are filed. However, if along the way the police and/or prosecutors decide to trumpet a case to the media through press conferences and the like, then it logically follows such a case will start to gather interest among the masses. The snowball of hype starts rolling. Though legally they're no different than anyone else under the law, high-profile defendants such as politicians, movie stars, and athletes always seem to put the media circus into overdrive. Throw in their usual embellishment and, presto, all of a sudden such things are front page news.

As mentioned above, the Patriots are trying to erase Aaron Hernandez from their storied history. They even went so far as to ask people in possession of a Hernandez jersey to trade it in for another jersey of their choice. It's almost like their end game is to pretend Hernandez was never a member of their team. Erased.

Now, the University of Florida, where Hernandez played his college ball, seems to be taking another page from John Kruger. They're busy pulling down any and all photos of their one time gridiron superstar, and have even sawed and dug up a chunk of concrete that bore his name on Gainesville's version of the Hollywood walk of fame. Even though Hernandez's alleged crime happened long after he departed the U of F, it certainly appears they want to erase any memory of him too.

Further consider -- Hernandez has been in jail for over a month. At a "probable cause" hearing, which both the prosecution and defense agreed to weeks ago, the prosecution stated it wasn't yet ready. They needed more time to gather evidence. Some nitwit judge agreed and postponed it until August 22. Hey, these are the same people that had Hernandez arrested in the first place. In my opinion, defense attorney James Sultan was absolutely right on the money when he said if the prosecution couldn't be ready to present their case -- then why has his client spent the last month in jail? It's not like he was going anywhere. They could have waited until they had their ducks more in a row before putting a man in a cage. Now Hernandez has to spend another month behind bars. And all this over a mere probable cause hearing? The prosecutors weren't even prepared for THAT? Are you kidding me? How incompetent ARE these people?

Sure, the initial reports from the Hernandez case painted a grim picture. Things didn't look good for Aaron. But it's always that way, because it's the prosecution putting the brush to the canvas. However, as in many other cases, once all the evidence has throughly been dissected in a court of law, sometimes things aren't what they originally appeared to be. That may or may not eventually apply to Hernandez.

But here's the cruel double-edged sword. Even if Hernandez is eventually exonerated (and one of his attorneys has already stated he fully expects that to happen once everything plays out) --  Hernandez still loses.

He will have spent months, possibly years in jail while the legal proceedings drag on. (Last time I looked, the "system" had yet to figure out a way to compensate an innocent person for taking away a chunk of their life, while treating him like an animal.) For that matter, if a not guilty verdict is eventually rendered -- Hernandez will have lost millions in wages he otherwise would have had.

Further yet, it's likely he would be considered radioactive to all other NFL franchises. Despite his talents, what team would take him on? In their eyes, it would be a PR disaster.

The New England Patriots have tried their best to erase him.

The Florida Gators are in the process of doing the same thing.

Maybe we should just take it another step further and delete his birth certificate, along with all other records of his life.  The man never even existed.


But, oh my. What if he turns out to be innocent of the crime he is charged with?

Then what?

Could happen.

It's scary when you think about it. Hernandez hasn't even gone to trial yet, let alone been convicted of anything, but those that were formerly associated with him in his football life are trying to erase him.

What's scarier yet is the vast majority of people watching the news blurbs seem to be perfectly OK with this. Of course, these are the same people that will believe anything they read, or see on TV. Remember -- if it's on the internet -- it must be true -- right?  Lemmings is a kind word. I'm thinking morons.

Hey, this a man's life we're talking about here. How about we wait until all the facts are in before we erase him?

Is that asking too much?

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