Jose Baez: Hernandez acquittal burnishes lawyer's reputation

By DENISE LAVOIE Markets Associated Press

An acquittal in a high-profile murder case is nothing new for the lead attorney in the double-murder trial of Aaron Hernandez.

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Jose Baez (bye-EZ') first gained national celebrity in 2011, when he won an acquittal for Casey Anthony, the Florida mother accused of killing her toddler.

Both the Hernandez and Anthony cases seemed to be slam dunks for prosecutors. But in each trial, Baez was able to poke holes in the prosecution's case and raise doubt in the minds of jurors.

The Florida-based attorney has earned praise and scorn for his aggressive, no-holds-barred style.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Baez attributes his ability to connect with jurors to his working-class upbringing. He says he feels driven to defend people accused of crimes because he believes they are sometimes treated harshly by the system and deserve a chance.