Published: Wed, March 13, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Court reinstates Aaron Hernandez's murder charge

Court reinstates Aaron Hernandez's murder charge

Hernandez was convicted of murder in 2015 and was in the process of appealing the conviction when he committed suicide in jail in 2017.

Prosecutors argued that the legal principle was unfair to victims and outdated.

"The SJC has ruled that Aaron Hernandez's conviction for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, will stand", Bristol District Attorney Thomas Quinn said in a statement, per CBS Boston.

A judge threw out Hernandez's conviction that year, citing the legal principle that holds that a defendant convicted at trial who dies before an appeal is heard should no longer be considered guilty in the eyes of the law, thereby returning the case to its pretrial status.

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

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 wrote Wednesday that, thanks to the court's ruling, "justice is served". "He said victims" relatives, jurors and the public have interest in such cases.

Hernandez played for the Patriots from 2010-2012 and was considered one of the league's rising stars before his career ended under shocking circumstances. He teamed with Rob Gronkowski to form a formidable tight end duo and before the 2012 season, New England signed Hernandez to a five-year, $41 million contract extension that would have expired in 2018.

But the Patriots released him in 2013, shortly after he was arrested in the killing of Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée.

The legal principle known by the Latin phrase "ab initio", came under scrutiny a year ago when Hernandez, a former New England Patriots star and convicted killer, was found dead in his prison cell.

Hernandez is not the only high-profile criminal whose conviction was overturned by this law.

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 was 27 years old when he took his own life almost two years ago.

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