sunny.png
Sunday June 16th, 2019 8:54PM

Court reinstates late Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BOSTON (AP) — Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction was reinstated Wednesday in a sweeping ruling from Massachusetts' highest court that does away with the legal principle that made the former NFL star innocent in the eyes of the law after he killed himself in prison.

The Supreme Judicial Court unanimously found that the legal rule that erased Hernandez's conviction is "outdated and no longer consonant with the circumstances of contemporary life." It ordered that Hernandez's conviction be restored and that the practice be abolished for future cases. The ruling does not affect past cases.

Hernandez was convicted in 2015 of killing semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. Two years later, the 27-year-old killed himself in his prison cell days after being acquitted of most charges in a separate double-murder case.

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. The prosecution then appealed, seeking to have the conviction reinstated.

Under the doctrine, rooted in centuries of English law, a conviction should not be considered final until an appeal can determine whether mistakes were made that deprived the defendant of a fair trial, legal experts say.

How states handle cases such as Hernandez's varies widely. Some, like Massachusetts, toss the convictions, while other states dismiss the defendant's appeal and the conviction stands. Others allow appellate courts to consider a dead defendant's case, prosecutors said.

The district attorney whose office prosecuted Hernandez's case applauded the court's decision.

"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," Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III said in a tweet.

Hernandez's attorneys said they plan to ask the court to reconsider its decision, saying the court has "overlooked an essential point of fairness in applying its new rule to this case."

"The SJC did not state a cogent reason for applying this new rule to Mr. Hernandez's case, and there is no reason in the record that justifies that aspect of this decision," John Thompson and Linda Thompson said in a statement.

Prosecutors argued that the legal doctrine is outdated and unfair to victims. Quinn told the court that the defendant's estate should be allowed to appeal the case, if they wish. Otherwise, the conviction should stand, he argued.

Under the new rule laid out by the court, the conviction will stand, but the court record will note the conviction was neither affirmed nor reversed because the defendant died while the appeal was pending.

Lloyd's mother settled her wrongful death lawsuit with Hernandez's estate in September. A lawyer for Lloyd's family said Wednesday that they are pleased with the court's ruling.

"This decision has helped the family to obtain closure from the horrible loss of their beloved son Odin," Attorney Doug Sheff said in a statement. "He was an inspiration to all who knew him and a devoted member of his family and the community. It has solidified their faith in the Massachusetts Justice System."

Other high-profile Massachusetts 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.

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 Massachusetts maximum-security prison where Hernandez died.

___

Follow Alanna Durkin Richer at http://www.twitter.com/aedurkinricher

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
3-story building collapses in Nigeria with children inside
3-story building collapses in Nigeria, and rescuers rush to pull out scores of children
10:28AM ( 4 minutes ago )
Germany to compensate gay men investigated after WWII
Germany is extending compensation payments to gay men investigated under a law criminalizing homosexuality that was enforced enthusiastically in post-World War II West Germany to cover people who weren't convicted
10:18AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Detained Saudi women's rights activists brought to court
Several arrested Saudi women activists brought to court on unknown charges after being detained in crackdown
10:17AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
CEO steps down as dozens ensnared in college admissions scam
Feds charge dozens in documents that describe a scheme to cheat the admissions process at eight sought-after schools
9:40AM ( 53 minutes ago )
BUBBLE WATCH: Saint Mary's win bad news for bubble teams
The NCAA Tournament's bubble got a little tighter on Tuesday night after Saint Mary's upset No. 1 Gonzaga to earn an automatic bid to the Big Dance.
9:39AM ( 53 minutes ago )
Unprecedented quadruple looms into view for ruthless City
Manchester City has its opponents bewildered and running scared amid a torrid run that has opened up the increasingly realistic prospect of an unprecedented quadruple of trophies this season
9:33AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Giants trade Beckham to Browns, Jets get Bell
While free agency spending frenzy runs wild, Giants trade Beckham to Browns while Jets agree to deal with Bell
1:10AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Sources: Browns to acquire star receiver Beckham from NY
People familiar with blockbuster trade say Browns have agreed to acquire star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants.
11:23PM ( 11 hours ago )
Another receiver megadeal: Giants trade Beckham to Browns
While the free agency spending frenzy runs wild, the Giants and Browns found a way to overshadow it: a trade of Odell Beckham Jr. New York is sending its star receiver to Cleveland
9:43PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Online Football
US health officials move to tighten sales of e-cigarettes
U.S. health regulators are moving ahead with a plan to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of teenagers by restricting sales of most flavored products in convenience stores and online
9:43AM ( 49 minutes ago )
More nations ground Boeing 737 Max 8s after Ethiopia crash
Flight recorders from Ethiopian crash to be examined abroad
9:43AM ( 49 minutes ago )
Trump appreciates Pelosi's 'statement against impeachment'
President Donald Trump and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agree on something, at least for now: He shouldn't be impeached
9:42AM ( 50 minutes ago )
AP National News
Information void in plane crash leads many to take action
In the days since an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash killed 157 people, there have been many questions but not a lot of answers
6:57AM ( 3 hours ago )
EU plans for chaotic Brexit as UK readies for no-deal vote
Britain and the European Union are bracing for a chaotic, cliff-edge Brexit after U.K. lawmakers rejected the two sides' agreed divorce deal
6:48AM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: EU official fears Brexit will hijack elections
The European Parliament's chief Brexit official says he wants to limit any Brexit deadline extension to a few months at best, fearing it will take over the whole European election campaign
6:28AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online National News
The Latest: Lebanon bars Boeing 737 Max aircraft from skies
The Latest: Lebanon bars Boeing 737 Max aircraft from skies, the latest country of many
5:04AM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Brexit: UK won't impose border checks in Ireland
Britain's government says it won't impose new checks and controls on goods at the Northern Ireland-Ireland border if the U.K. leaves the European Union without an agreement on future relations
5:04AM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Norwegian airline seeks compensation from Boeing
The Latest: Norwegian Air Shuttles says it will seek compensation from aircraft maker Boeing after the low-cost carrier grounded its fleet of 737 MAX 8 aircraft
4:41AM ( 5 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Kesha to headline Dan Reynolds' LGBTQ festival LOVELOUD
Kesha wants you to bring as much glitter as possible and sport the brightest colors of the rainbow when she visits Utah in June to headline the LOVELOUD Festival, the LGBTQ+ event founded by Imagine Dragons' frontman Dan Reynolds
9:24AM ( 1 hour ago )
Harry Styles, Brian May, Monae to present at Rock Hall
Harry Styles, Queen's Brian May and Janelle Monae are among those presenting at the 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony
5:04AM ( 5 hours ago )
Huffman and Loughlin charges shatter actresses' clean images
Charges in college bribery scandal against actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin shatter the TV actresses' clean images
11:49PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
The Latest: Guilty plea in college admissions scheme
The founder of an admissions consulting company has pleaded guilty to running a nationwide college admissions bribery scheme involving wealthy parents and coaches at elite universities
3:24PM ( 19 hours ago )
Smollett lawyer: Court cameras will show state's flimsy case
A lawyer for Jussie Smollett says she would welcome cameras in the courtroom during the "Empire" actor's trial on charges accusing him of lying to police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack
2:31PM ( 20 hours ago )
Smollett lawyer: Cameras in court would state's flimsy case
A lawyer for Jussie Smollett says she would welcome cameras in the courtroom during the "Empire" actor's trial on charges accusing him of lying to police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack
1:53PM ( 20 hours ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Mitchell, Jazz back Westbrook, say Utah won't condone racism
A day after NBA star Russell Westbrook directed vulgar comments toward two fans, the Utah Jazz responded by banning one of the fans from their arena
7:07PM ( 15 hours ago )
The Latest: RB Zenner gets extension from Lions
The Detroit Lions have agreed to a one-year contract extension with running back Zach Zenner. The 27-year-old Zenner rushed for 265 yards on 55 carries in eight games with Detroit last season.
6:42PM ( 15 hours ago )
The Latest: WR Perriman returning to Cleveland
The Latest: WR Breshad Perriman re-signing with Cleveland Browns after bounce-back season
5:21PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Sports - NFL
3-story building collapses in Nigeria with children inside
3-story building collapses in Nigeria, and rescuers rush to pull out scores of children
10:28AM ( 5 minutes ago )
Germany to compensate gay men investigated after WWII
Germany is extending compensation payments to gay men investigated under a law criminalizing homosexuality that was enforced enthusiastically in post-World War II West Germany to cover people who weren't convicted
10:18AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Detained Saudi women's rights activists brought to court
Several arrested Saudi women activists brought to court on unknown charges after being detained in crackdown
10:17AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Manafort returns to court for 2nd sentencing in 2 weeks
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is back in court for his second sentencing hearing in as many weeks
10:16AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Thailand PM on official trip croons, brags about successes
Thailand's military-installed prime minister has crooned a love song and boasted of his government's achievements during an official visit to the country's northeast ahead of the March 24 election
10:15AM ( 17 minutes ago )