Back to before? The suicide of Aaron Hernandez and “the doctrine of abatement ab initio.”

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MONICA LINDSTROM has this great piece in KTAR News.

Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots football player and convicted killer, committed suicide last week in prison.

At the time of his death, he was serving a life sentence for the first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd and had just been acquitted of another murder.However, in a weird twist of fate, the first-degree murder conviction is no more.
If you search for Hernandez online, you will see articles about his sexuality, his gang ties, his football statistics, whether the Patriots owe him money and you will also see articles about a weird concept called “the doctrine of abatement ab initio.”
Think of “back to the beginning.”
Massachusetts law follows this arcane concept that basically means if you die while your case is in the appellate system, the entire case gets thrown out. It is as if the conviction and the case never existed.
Because his conviction was in the appellate courts at the time of his death, the courts now consider Hernandez an innocent man
Before you think well, that’s just Massachusetts, guess what? Arizona is the same.
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