Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Aaron Hernandez Murder Conviction Reinstated

Aaron Hernandez Enlarge Image Aaron Hernandez AP
Frederick Owens | 14 March, 2019, 08:11

As part of an obscure doctrine called "abatement ab initio", Hernandez's guilty verdict was overturned because he died before he was able to conclude the appeals process.

Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction was reinstated Wednesday in a sweeping ruling from Massachusetts' highest court that does away with the legal principle that made the former National Football League star innocent in the eyes of the law after he killed himself in prison. He was serving a life sentence in prison for the June 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.

After the 27-year-old former athlete hung himself, his family turned his brain over to scientists who determined that Hernandez had the one of the worst cases of the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy that they had ever seen.

The Supreme Judicial Court's decision comes almost two years after a state judge vacated Hernandez's murder conviction after the former National Football League star's suicide.

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

Attorney John Thompson, who represented Hernandez in the Lloyd case, said he was disappointed with the decision. His death came only a few days after being acquitted in a separate double murder case.

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Under the doctrine, rooted in centuries of English law, a conviction should not be considered final until an appeal can determine whether mistakes were made that deprived the defendant of a fair trial, legal experts say.

But the state Supreme Court ruled against vacating the conviction. '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'.

Prosecutors said the legal principle was unfair to victims and outdated.

"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".

Aaron Hernandez had a promising career with the New England Patriots but it was ultimately derailed thanks to poor choices that ended up leading to the murder of Odin Lloyd.

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