A jury convicted Aaron Hernandez , the former tight end of the New England Patriots, today of murder in the first degree. The sentence is mandatory, life without parole. And so ends the career of a promising young athlete who literally had the world at his fingertips when he shot and killed Odin Lloyd. He had just inked a deal for $41 million.

ABC News is reporting,

Hours after declaring Aaron Hernandez guilty of murder today, all the jurors defended their decision in a rare post-verdict news conference, with one juror saying evidence that a gun linked to Hernandez had been found near the victim’s body was “a shocker.”

“You assume the man is innocent until the prosecution proved he’s guilty and that’s what happened today,” another one, juror No. 3, told reporters.

None of the commenting jurors were identified by name.

Speaking to the media, all the jurors agreed that they had worked hard to keep track of a mountain of evidence during the nine-week trial.

Not a smart move.

Frederick Leatherman

Frederick Leatherman

I am a former law professor and felony criminal defense lawyer who practiced in state and federal courts for 30 years specializing in death penalty cases, forensics, and drug cases.

I taught criminal law, criminal procedure, law and forensics, and trial advocacy for three years after retiring from my law practice.

I also co-founded Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW) at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle and recruited 40 lawyers who agreed to work pro bono, assisted by law students, representing 17 innocent men and women wrongfully convicted of sexually abusing their children in the notorious Wenatchee Sex Ring witch-hunt prosecutions during the mid 90s. All 17 were freed from imprisonment.