Aaron Hernandez Docuseries (netflix)

I thoroughly enjoyed the Aaron Hernandez docuseries on Netflix, until I saw a TMZ headline that his former attorney, Jose Baez, regretted participated in the film and thought it was poorly done. I decided to investigate further and read Baez’s book about the trial. And I was shocked. It became clear that the docuseries was focused on making Aaron seem like a violent murderer and on exploiting his sexuality for sensasonalist purposes.

Indeed, the series suggested that Aaron perpetrated a murder in Florida, without any evidence supporting the implication except that he “matched the description” of the shooter–the shooter and Aaron were brown and had a similar build. If this wasn’t flimsy and racist enough, the shooter was described is African American. Of course, Aaron is Puerto Rican.

Baez gave some shocking facts about the double murder investigation which were completely omitted from the series. First, a street sweeper was driving by at the time of the shooting and told police that he saw a female in the car where Aaron purportedly sat and shot from. Police did not tell anyone he said this and tried to get him to lie about saying it in a interview later on. They transported the BMW to the police inventory lot with the bodies in the car. Like what?????

EMTs contaminated the scene.

They did not find an independent witness who watched Aaron the night he was in the club because he was a fan. This witness later testified that there was no altercation or argument between Aaron and the decedents.

Aaron was rightfully acquitted. Because this did not fit with their storyline, all of the evidence showing he was not a killer was omitted from the series, leaving the impression that he is just another famous person who got away with murder.

My take away from Baez’s book about the first murder was that it was likely Aaron was good for it. Baez did not say that. He pointed out the weaknesses in the case. But, the weaknesses were not compelling. Of course, the verdict required jurors to believe a snitch. And it would be consistent with the evidence to conclude that Aaron was in the car when the shooting happened, but did not do the shooting. But why did he then tell his wife to dispose of a gun? Why was he so nonchalant after the shooting?

I was particularly disturbed by a deputy saying that Aaron acted as if there was no transition into jail as if he was a sociopath. Clearly, from the jail calls this wasn’t true. But because this fit perfectly within their narrative, it made it in the series.

It seems we are trending toward films that are taking an honest view of the criminal “justice” system. This film took us a million steps backward. It was racist. It was sensational. There was zero evidence suggesting anything that happened to Aaron had to do with being closeted, and the purpose of bringing out his sexuality was clearly because it is a sensational fact. Shame on Netflix.

Published by Jenny Brandt

About Me: sociology, african american studies, chicano/a studies, critical race studies, and criminal law scholar. public school kid from kindergarten-J.D. Former public defender. I am a post-conviction guru. Appeals. Sentencing. Withdraw Pleas. Habeas. Published author in the Criminal Law Bulletin and California Defender. "I do it for the joy it brings, because I'm a joyful girl, because the world owes me nothing, and we owe each other the world." Why I started JJC: My PD buddy suggested it. What and who JJC is inspired by: public defenders I have worked for, with, and next to. my clients who have battled things no one should and are still here. innocence and guilt and everything in between. My coworkers, who fight just as hard as the PDs I love, for many of the same reasons. My husband who was once voted "most Christ like" (every Jewish girl's dream). My Corgi who loves everyone. The constitution. Tabloids. My mom, for giving me a voice. My dad, for teaching me what to say. My brother, for teaching me how to say it.

2 thoughts on “Aaron Hernandez Docuseries (netflix)

  1. This makes me want to read the book by Baez. It sounds like the documentary was made by police and prosecutors in how it omitted exculpatory evidence. UGH!

    1. I’d recommend it. It was a quick read. The parts about lack of evidence and crazy police work were pretty interesting. And it’s about a high profile trial which always makes for a good read!

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