Little Known Loop Hole, Abatement Doctrine, Overturns Aaron Hernandez Conviction
Former NFL star, turned convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez took his own life on the morning April 19th, almost exactly two years after being convicted of taking the life of Odin Lloyd (April 15, 2015). However, because of his suicide, a loophole in Massachusetts, called the Abatement Doctrine, the murder conviction has officially been overturned by a judge!
In the state of Massachusetts, murder convictions are automatically appealed to the state’s highest court. The Abatement Doctrine says that if a convicted murderer suffers an untimely death or commits suicide prior to exhausting their appeals, the conviction is automatically vacated. Abatement ab initio means “from the beginning.” Essentially, in the law’s eyes that person could have been acquitted in appeal, thus the charges must be cleared.
Judge E. Susan Garsh ruled Tuesday (May 9th) that the Abatement Doctrine was binding precedent and therefore she was compelled to follow it.
It’s a legal loophole, but with his death, it’s not clear if the fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez and daughter of Aaron Hernandez will be reaping any benefits. The Patriots could be contractually obligated to pay Hernandez’s estate $3.5 million as part of a salary bonus that was never given to him because of his murder arrest in 2013. A year before he was arrested, Hernandez signed a contract extension with the Patriots that was to be worth up to $40 million over five years.
However, even if the lawyers are able to get the funds from the Patriots, Hernandez is facing three wrongful death lawsuits. One was filed by Ursula Ward, the mother of Lloyd. The two other cases were filed by the families of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, the men Hernandez was acquitted of killing five days before he took his own life.
The estate of Aaron Hernandez is currently valued at $0.00 according to reports, however, the Aaron Hernandez home is on the market and will likely be sold for somewhere around $1.3 milion.
It should be noted that lawyers and agents for Aaron Hernandez still need to be paid as well. This will be appealed to a higher court, so there is more to be done and it will likely take years to figure all this out. The daughter of Hernandez is four years old.
The Abatement Doctrine only hurts the family of Odin Lloyd in this case. The family has a wrongful death suit in the works and because the conviction is vacated, they can’t use the previous conviction in their civil case to prove fault.
Aaron Hernandez committed suicide by hanging himself with a bed sheet at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, a maximum security state prison in Shirley, where he was serving a life sentence.
Reports indicate that Hernandez knew about the Abatement Doctrine and that might be his main reason for taking his life. In the suicide note to his fiancée, released by the Bristol County DA’s Office, Hernandez wrote: “YOU’RE RICH”.
Originally posted by www.unboltedmag.com
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