Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. –H.L. Mencken
I find the reaction to the news about Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez deeply disturbing. Hernandez is accused of first degree murder and weapons charges and is being held without bail pending trial.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he was “duped” by Hernandez into signing a new contract. The Patriots Pro Shop had 1,200 people show up last weekend for a free “jersey swap” where they could replace their Hernandez jersey with a different one. EA Sports has dropped Hernandez from their line of video games.
Of course the Patriots are well within their rights to drop him from the team and give fans new jerseys, but I think the timing of these things is telling.
Hernandez is accused of a crime. But people are acting as if he’s been proven guilty of murder already.
In fact it has been shown repeatedly, and especially since the introduction of DNA testing, that many people are railroaded by the state and put into prison unjustly.
Is Hernandez guilty? I have no idea. At the very least he’s probably guilty of poor judgement in friends and acquaintances as well as when and where he hung out. At worst, he is guilty of murder.
But the rush to judgement by everyone, based only on the say-so of a few government employees, is a symptom of entirely too much trust in the state.