Prosecutors appeal decision to void Aaron Hernandez murder conviction

AP

When Aaron Hernandez killed himself in prison earlier this year, he was still appealing his conviction for the murder of Odin Lloyd and that led a Massachusetts judge to void the conviction under the legal principle known as abatement ab initio.

That principle holds that a conviction can’t be finalized until the appeals process has been exhausted and resets the case to the beginning in the event of the defendant’s death. Prosecutors argued that doing so would reward Hernandez for killing himself and they are now appealing the judge’s decision to void the conviction.

Bristol District Attorney Thomas Quinn III called abatement ab initio “archaic” and noted that many other states have moved away from it to allow appeals to continue even after the defendant has died.

“A defendant who commits suicide should not be able to manipulate the outcome of his post-conviction proceedings to achieve in death what he would not be able to achieve in life,” Quinn said, via the Associated Press.

Hernandez killed himself shortly after being acquitted by a jury of two other murder charges.

14 responses to “Prosecutors appeal decision to void Aaron Hernandez murder conviction

  1. Good. This law makes zero sense.

    Upon the death of the inmate, it should either:

    – Default to the last verdict reached while the inmate was alive.

    – Continue proceedings without the inmate and change the verdict only if he/she is subsequently judged to be not guilty.

    Automatically voiding a perfectly valid conviction is ridiculous.

  2. Defaulting to the last verdict while the inmate was alive is ridiculous. In death , individuals in our country at least, should still have rights. Regardless of one’s opinion of Hernandez, everyone should be entitled to those rights in life or death. Proceedings should continue. I can only imagine that most would want the same rights afforded to their loved ones in a similar situation. And in case your wondering, no, I’m not a liberal snowflake.

  3. Why are they wasting time litigating over the conviction of a dead man? Maybe they can find some teenage girl to prosecute for causing Hernandez’s suicide.

  4. elyasm says:
    Jun 23, 2017 6:21 PM
    Why are they wasting time litigating over the conviction of a dead man? Maybe they can find some teenage girl to prosecute for causing Hernandez’s suicide.

    —–

    Thankfully they’re going to put that horrible girl away before she could have any children to murder.

  5. The prosecutor should explain better how this is a valid use of tax dollars and not a complete waste time to pursue this appeal. The man is dead. If he wins the appeal, does he want to put the corpse behind bars?

    I thought our court system was already stressed enough with too many cases to worry about pursuing a case like this that essentially has no more meaning.

    If he wants to change the law, then he can go try to become a congressman and introduce the bill to change the law.

  6. canth256 says:
    Jun 23, 2017 8:17 PM

    The prosecutor should explain better how this is a valid use of tax dollars and not a complete waste time to pursue this appeal. The man is dead. If he wins the appeal, does he want to put the corpse behind bars?
    ——————–
    I know zilch, but with law everything that is decided now can have a potential impact on cases in the future — cases that don’t even exist yet. I think the DA is making sure that this mess gets properly cleaned up.

    Given who and what this now deceased fella was, I don’t mind the idea of making sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed before filing away his case file. If this can be twisted in a way that will help someone else get away with murder, then let’s do what we can right now to prevent that.

    And I’m still not convinced he died by his own hand. He had a way of bringing out the worst in people.

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