CRIME

Jose Baez: Hernandez acquittal burnishes lawyer's reputation

  • FILE - In this March 1, 2017, file photo, lead defense attorney Jose Baez delivers his opening statement to the jury on the first day of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's double-murder trial at Suffolk Superior Court in Boston. Baez won an acquittal for Hernandez, and for Casey Anthony in 2011 in the death of her toddler. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, Pool, File)

    FILE - In this March 1, 2017, file photo, lead defense attorney Jose Baez delivers his opening statement to the jury on the first day of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's double-murder trial at Suffolk Superior Court in Boston. Baez won an acquittal for Hernandez, and for Casey Anthony in 2011 in the death of her toddler. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 6, 2017, file photo, defense attorney Jose Baez holds a placard while presenting closing arguments in the trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez at Suffolk Superior Court in Boston. Baez won an acquittal for Hernandez in the double-murder case, and for Casey Anthony in 2011 in the death of her toddler. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool, File)

    FILE - In this April 6, 2017, file photo, defense attorney Jose Baez holds a placard while presenting closing arguments in the trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez at Suffolk Superior Court in Boston. Baez won an acquittal for Hernandez in the double-murder case, and for Casey Anthony in 2011 in the death of her toddler. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this July 5, 2011, file photo, defense attorney Jose Baez, left, and Casey Anthony react after the jury acquitted her of murdering her daughter, Caylee, during Anthony's trial at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla. Baez also won an acquittal for former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in his 2017 double-murder trial. Baez said he feels driven to defend people accused of crimes because he believes they are sometimes treated harshly by the system and deserve a chance. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel via AP, Pool, File)

    FILE - In this July 5, 2011, file photo, defense attorney Jose Baez, left, and Casey Anthony react after the jury acquitted her of murdering her daughter, Caylee, during Anthony's trial at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla. Baez also won an acquittal for former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in his 2017 double-murder trial. Baez said he feels driven to defend people accused of crimes because he believes they are sometimes treated harshly by the system and deserve a chance. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel via AP, Pool, File)  (The 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.

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.