Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Aaron Hernandez murder conviction has been reinstated

Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction reinstated by Massachusetts’s highest court Aaron Hernandez Murder Charge Re-Instated
Cassandra Castillo | 13 March, 2019, 22:25

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.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that abatement ab initio is outdated, and has nothing to do with modern life.

Hernandez was convicted in 2015 of the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.

Calling it 'outdated, ' the Supreme Judicial Court in MA has eliminated a state legal principle that wiped out the murder conviction of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez after his suicide.

The court called it "outdated and no longer consonant with the circumstances of contemporary life" in Wednesday's decision, which prosecutors had begun pushing for in November.

At the time of the abatement, prosecutors argued that throwing out Hernandez's conviction would "reward the defendant's conscious, deliberate and voluntary act" of killing himself and that the abatement rule has no solid historical or legal basis. Hernandez hanged himself in his prison cell April 19, 2017, just days after his acquittal on double-murder charges in a separate 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. "He said victims" relatives, jurors and the public have interest in such cases.

The conviction was nullified a year ago, due to an arcane legal rule that says a defendant who dies before their appeal is heard must have any guilty verdict wiped out. Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn II argued the defendant's estate should be allowed to appeal the case, if they wish.

John Salvi, who was convicted of killing two abortion clinic workers in Brookline in 1994, had that ruling overturned when he committed suicide in 1996.

Lawyer John Thompson, who said he was representing "the spirit of Aaron Hernandez", said this would be unfair as the defendant - a critical part of any case - is dead, and can not provide context or help to attorneys to properly appeal his case.

The Patriots took Hernandez in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

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