4/19/2017 7:54 AM PDT
Aaron Hernandez died innocent of murder, despite the conviction for which he was serving a life sentence.
It may be technical, but it’s true. Aaron was convicted in 2015 of murdering Odin Lloyd. He was serving a life sentence when he was found hanging from his cell early Wednesday morning.
Under Massachusetts law, when a person dies while a criminal case is on appeal, the death effectively erases all the criminal proceedings … it’s as if Aaron was never arrested, never tried, never convicted.
The logic is that a person is not only entitled to a fair trial, they’re entitled to appeal a conviction, and the process is not cemented until the appeal process is exhausted.
And there’s more. Aaron is being sued civilly for wrongful death by Lloyd’s family. When Aaron was alive, the family could use the criminal conviction to automatically establish liability … but now they can’t. They’ll have to retry the murder allegation in front of a new jury, without Aaron present.