Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction reinstated by high court

Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction reinstated by Massachusetts’s highest court

Massachusetts' highest court on Wednesday reinstated the late Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction, which was erased after the former National Football League star died by suicide in prison.

The legal principle known by the Latin phrase "ab initio", came under scrutiny past year when Hernandez, a former New England Patriots star and convicted killer, was found dead in his prison cell.

Hernandez hanged himself in his cell days after being acquitted in a double-murder case from 2012.

The high court's decision clears the way for the victim's family to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Hernandez, who had a $41 million contract when he was arrested for Lloyd's killing, said Robert Bloom, a professor at Boston College Law School.

Under the court's ruling, the Hernandez conviction will stand, with the court record noting that it was neither affirmed nor reversed because the defendant died while the appeal was pending.

But a judge threw out his conviction on the existing principle that dictated that someone found guilty who dies before having a chance to have his appeal reviewed should no longer be considered guilty.

Hernandez was convicted for the murder of Lloyd in 2015.

During a November hearing before the court, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn argued that vacating Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction is "fundamentally unfair".

How states handle cases such as Hernandez's varies widely. Other states allow appellate courts to consider a dead defendant's case, prosecutors say.

Unless Massachusetts' highest court changes its own decision, Hernandez will remain a convicted murderer for eternity.

"What it means is that Lloyd's family might be able to collect from the estate", Bloom said.

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 initial conviction, however, was vacated in 2017 after the former New England Patriots" tight end committed suicide in his jail cell.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

House Democrats take aim at Trump's 2020 budget request
Some economists, though, say the bump from the tax cuts is waning, and they project slower economic expansion in coming years. Some fiscal watchdogs, though, panned the effort as more piling on of debt by Trump with no course correction in sight.

Pep Guardiola sources 'deny Juventus reports'
This season Guardiola has led City to the EFL Cup title once again, and the team is in the driver's seat in the Premier League. City have a two goal advantage in Champions League against Shalke and are in quarter final of the F.A Cup.

Packers add three FAs to defence
Amos registered 73 tackles, nine pass breakups, two interceptions, two tackles for losses and one fumble recovery in 2018. He comes off a year in which he racked up a career-best 53 tackles to go along with four quarterback traps.

Raptors' Serge Ibaka and Cavaliers' Marquese Chriss ejected after brawl
A day after committing 21 turnovers in a 21-point win over Miami, Toronto committed 20 turnovers in a 25-point loss to Cleveland. Ibaka hit the court hard in the second quarter after being fouled by Chriss after scoring on a rebound.

Other news