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Aaron Hernandez murder conviction has been reinstated

Aaron Hernandez murder conviction has been reinstated”

The former New England Patriots player committed suicide two days after he was acquitted in a second murder case concerning the deaths of two men which occurred in 2012.

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

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 attorney John Thompson said the manner of death should not matter - when a person dies while his conviction is under direct appeal, the conviction should be vacated.

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.

The conviction was nullified previous year, due to an arcane legal rule that says a defendant who dies before their appeal is heard must have any guilty verdict wiped out. 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.

This new ruling will now set a legal precedent, meaning any future cases will be dealt with the same way Hernandez is being treated now. Quinn III was the prosecutor on the Hernandez case.

How other states handle cases such as Hernandez's varies widely. Some, like MA, toss the convictions, while other states dismiss the defendant's appeal and the conviction stands. The court record will note that the conviction was "neither affirmed nor reversed because the defendant died".

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 attorney had previously argued the legal doctrine should remain intact, saying juries make mistakes.

This is a breaking news story; stay with 7News on-air and online for the latest developments.



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