Aaron Hernandez Murder Charge Re-Instated

Aaron Hernandez Murder Charge Re-Instated

In a precedent-reversing decision, the highest court in MA ruled Wednesday that Aaron Hernandez's first-degree murder conviction must be effectively reinstated, despite Hernandez having killed himself before his appeal could be heard.

Thanks to that principle, Hernandez's conviction in Bristol Superior Court for the murder of Odin Lloyd was erased after the former National Football League star killed himself in prison. Hernandez, 27, was found guilty in 2015 of killing semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd.

The judges said Tuesday that the Commonwealth's law automatically vacating the conviction because of Hernandez's suicide is "outdated".

Aaron Hernandez found hanged

Under the new order, if a defendant passes before their appeal, the conviction stands without any affirmation or nullification.

"We are pleased justice is served in this case, the antiquated practice of vacating a valid conviction is being eliminated and the victim's family can get the closure they deserve", the statement continues.

MA courts had generally recognized a legal rule called "abatement ab initio", or abatement, in which convictions are thrown out if a defendant dies prior his or her appeal being resolved. Legal analysts believed vacating Hernandez's murder conviction had made winning the case more hard for the plaintiffs.


Hernandez's attorney had previously argued the legal doctrine should remain intact, saying juries make mistakes. The prosecution then appealed, seeking to have the conviction reinstated.

Hernandez's death came shortly after his acquittal of the double murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safir Furtado. Some states, like MA, toss the convictions, while others dismiss the defendant's appeal and the conviction stands.

"The current practice. does not consider the interest of the other parties who have an interest in the outcome, ' Quinn told the Boston Globe at the time". "They would have an action against the estate because of the wrongful death of their family member".


Other high-profile MA criminals whose convictions have been erased after their deaths include John Salvi, who was convicted of killing two abortion clinic workers and wounding five other people during a shooting rampage in Brookline in 1994.

Hernandez's conviction was tossed after he committed suicide in April 2017 while in prison - thanks to a state law that erases murder raps in the event of an inmate's death.


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