According to (CNN)Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction is expected to be dismissed posthumously because of a legal rule called “abatement.”
Aaron Hernandez could die a “FREE MAN”- quirky rule
That would mean, legally speaking, Aaron Hernandez died an innocent man.
Hernandez was found dead early Wednesday morning according to the Massachusetts Department of Correction. Hernandez was convicted of 1st degree murder of Odin Lloyd and was serving a life sentence without parole.
Rosanna Cavallaro, a law professor at Suffolk University,who has written about abatement, said the court will vacate that conviction because Hernandez’s appeal was pending.
“The idea is that if an appeal hasn’t happened, there’s a chance that a conviction has an error in it,” she told CNN. “Rather than have someone with that incomplete decision that they’re guilty, the state chooses instead to say that conviction is abated — as if it never had happened,” said Cavallaro.
The proper term for the conviction’s dismissal is “pro forma,” or automatic, she said.
Hernandez, who had just been acquitted last Friday in a separate murder trial, had recently appealed the Lloyd murder conviction. However, a date for a hearing had not been set.
The abatement law is “quirky” and “esoteric,” Cavallaro said, but not without significant consequences.
Civil lawsuits, in which a harmed party sues for damages, often rely on a criminal conviction as its basis of facts.
“You could piggyback off that criminal conviction to get to the place where you’re only litigating damages,” Cavallaro said. “Now that’s not available anymore.”