Last month, ex-New England Patriots’ tight end, Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in prison while serving a life sentence for the murder of semi professional football player, Odin Lloyd. As of Tuesday, May 9th, the late former NFL player was ruled to no longer be charged for the murder. Superior Court Judge, Susan Garsh vacated Hernandez’s 2015 first degree murder conviction and two accompanying firearm charges.
By law Aaron Hernandez was considered “innocent” and Judge Garsh’s ruling lined up with “abatement ab initio,” a legal principle that requires a judge to vacate the convictions of a defendant whose appeals have not been finalized before their death. The abatement reinstates the defendant’s status to the time before they were charged with a crime.
Because Judge Garsh decided that the ruling of a further hearing would not change her legal decisions, she refused to hold an evidentiary hearing over Hernandez’s death. However, District Attorney Thomas Quinn III, has decided to appeal Judge Garsh’s ruling. The appeal itself will take several months to a year to resolve.
Many people have concluded that Hernandez’s suicide was most likely done due to financial rewards for beneficiaries. District Attorney Quinn believes his awareness of the abatement possibly led him to suicide. By granting the abatement, Hernandez’s heirs will benefit from it directly. Hernandez will ultimately be rewarded for manipulating the system, leaving Odin Lloyd’s family with injustice and unanswered questions. Considering all circumstances, the aftermath of Aaron Hernandez’s death with take quite some time resolve.