Aaron Hernandez To Be Considered ‘Innocent Man’ By The State After Murder Conviction Is Voided Due To Suicide
Less than a week after being acquitted in his double murder case, former New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his cell after he apparently committed suicide.
Before his death, Hernandez was serving a life sentence without parole after he was found guilty of the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd.
According to Massachusetts law, any murder conviction is automatically appealed to the state’s highest court.
Due to Hernandez not being able to exhaust all of his appeals before his suicide, the murder conviction in the Odin Lloyd case will be voided because of a legal principle called “abatement ab initio,”.
Via The Boston Globe
In the eyes of the state of Massachusetts, the death of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez made him an innocent man, thanks to an archaic legal principle called “abatement ab initio,” said Martin W. Healy, chief legal counsel to the Massachusetts Bar Association.
Though Hernandez was convicted in 2015 of murdering Odin L. Lloyd of Boston, Hernandez’s appeal was not complete. Abatement ab initio means “from the beginning,” Healy said, and it means that upon a person’s death, if they have not exhausted their legal appeals, their case reverts to its status at the beginning — it’s as if the trial and conviction never happened.
“Unfortunately, in the Odin Lloyd matter, for the family, there won’t be any real closure,” said Healy. “Aaron Hernandez will go to his death an innocent man.”
There’s no way in knowing if Hernandez knew about this principle before hanging himself in his cell, but it clearly isn’t going to change anyone’s mind in the court of public opinion.