Court reinstates late Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction

Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction reinstated by Massachusetts’s highest court

Aaron Hernandez Murder Charge Re-Instated

Deceased former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's 2013 murder conviction will stand, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court announced Wednesday.

Hernandez hanged himself in his cell days after being acquitted in a double-murder case from 2012.

A judge threw out Hernandez's conviction after his death, citing the legal principle that holds that it's unfair to keep a conviction in place before a defendant had a chance to clear their names on appeal.

Moving forward under the new rule laid out by the court, the conviction will stand but the permanent record will note it was neither affirmed nor reversed at the appeal level due to the defendant's death. 'We are pleased justice is served in this case, the antiquated practice of vacating a valid conviction is being eliminated and the victim's family can get the closure they deserve'.

MA courts had generally recognized a legal rule called "abatement ab initio", or abatement, in which convictions are thrown out if a defendant dies prior his or her appeal being resolved.

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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.

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 current practice. does not consider the interest of the other parties who have an interest in the outcome, ' Quinn told the Boston Globe at the time".

"What it means is that Lloyd's family might be able to collect from the estate", Bloom said. "It has solidified their faith in the Massachusetts Justice System".

Roman Catholic priest John Geoghan, a key figure in the clergy sex abuse scandal that rocked the Boston archdiocese and spread across the globe, also had his child molestation conviction vacated after he was beaten to death in 2003 in his cell at the same MA maximum-security prison where Hernandez died.

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