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Aaron Hernandez's 2015 murder conviction reinstated, which could have ramifications for his family


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Aaron Hernandez is a convicted murderer again.



On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court struck down the controversial state doctrine of abatement ab initio, a rule that allows for convictions to be thrown out if the convicted die while the case is still under appeal.


Hernandez was found guilty in 2015 of first-degree murder in the death of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player and Hernandez’s potential brother in law. Lloyd was found shot to death in an undeveloped part of an industrial park near Hernandez’s North Attleboro, Massachusetts, home. Hernandez was a member of the New England Patriots at the time.


Hernandez committed suicide in 2017 while incarcerated for that crime. By doing so before the full appeal of the case was heard, his attorneys were initially able to argue that under the doctrine, Hernandez maintained a presumption of innocence during the appeal. As such, the doctrine allowed the conviction to be thrown out, making Hernandez, technically, a man innocent of murder.


That ruling has potential ramifications for Hernandez’s daughter to seek compensation and a pension from his football career, as well as protect whatever remains of Hernandez’s estate from civil suits from the Lloyd family.


In a unanimous opinion after an appeal from prosecutors, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the doctrine should no longer be followed and death during appeal should simply end the appeal, not the original conviction.


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