Fox 25: Juror questionnaire in Aaron Hernandez trial asks about racial, tattoo bias

Fox 25: Juror questionnaire in Aaron Hernandez trial asks about racial, tattoo bias

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(MyFoxBoston.com) — In a newly released document for the Aaron Hernandez murder trial in Bristol County, the questionnaire posed to prospective jurors includes questions about race, marijuana, tattoos and the New England Patriots. 

Prospective jurors are not only asked about their familiarity with the case, but whether they hold prejudices against the defendant because he is Hispanic and has tattoos. Questions 30 and 33 on the 50-question form, makes this clear. 

“Does the fact that Mr. Hernandez is Hispanic make you feel that he is more likely to to be guilty of the charges in this case than an individual who belongs to some other racial or ethnic group would be?”

Former federal prosecutor [Brad Bailey] said it’s slightly unusual to focus on race so directly, “but clearly the defense is worried about that, so it’s a fair question to ask.”

Another question touched on tattoos. 

“Do you believe that Mr. Hernandez is more likely to be guilty of the charges in this case because he has tattoos than an individual without tattoos would be?”

“It’s appropriate to ask, ‘Do you have tattoos?’ because then that can lead into ‘ Do you hold something against someone that has a tattoo, do you look at them differently if they have a tattoo?” said former federal prosecutor Brad Bailey. 

In the form there are also questions about prospective jurors “personal experience with marijuana.” 

Other questions also asked potential jurors if they were fans of the Patriots, Hernandez’s former team.

Question 38 asks, “Have you ever attended a New England Patriots game? If Yes, how many times?”

“Fan is short for fanatic, and I don’t think anybody wants any rabid fanatics deciding somebody’s ultimate destiny and rate in a case like this,” Bailey said.

The questions also offer a glimpse of what the public can expect to see at trial

“They’re certainly signaling it and in some instances doing it as a test case to see how some of the people are going to react to some of the things that are going to come up in the course of the trial.”

(MyFoxBoston.com) — In a newly released document for the Aaron Hernandez murder trial in Bristol County, the questionnaire posed to prospective jurors includes questions about race, marijuana, tattoos and the New England Patriots. 

Prospective jurors are not only asked about their familiarity with the case, but whether they hold prejudices against the defendant because he is Hispanic and has tattoos. Questions 30 and 33 on the 50-question form, makes this clear. 

“Does the fact that Mr. Hernandez is Hispanic make you feel that he is more likely to to be guilty of the charges in this case than an individual who belongs to some other racial or ethnic group would be?”

Former federal prosecutor [Brad Bailey] said it’s slightly unusual to focus on race so directly, “but clearly the defense is worried about that, so it’s a fair question to ask.”

Another question touched on tattoos. 

“Do you believe that Mr. Hernandez is more likely to be guilty of the charges in this case because he has tattoos than an individual without tattoos would be?”

“It’s appropriate to ask, ‘Do you have tattoos?’ because then that can lead into ‘ Do you hold something against someone that has a tattoo, do you look at them differently if they have a tattoo?” said former federal prosecutor Brad Bailey. 

In the form there are also questions about prospective jurors “personal experience with marijuana.” 

Other questions also asked potential jurors if they were fans of the Patriots, Hernandez’s former team.

Question 38 asks, “Have you ever attended a New England Patriots game? If Yes, how many times?”

“Fan is short for fanatic, and I don’t think anybody wants any rabid fanatics deciding somebody’s ultimate destiny and rate in a case like this,” Bailey said.

The questions also offer a glimpse of what the public can expect to see at trial

“They’re certainly signaling it and in some instances doing it as a test case to see how some of the people are going to react to some of the things that are going to come up in the course of the trial.”