Aaron Hernandez...Technically an Innocent Man?

Convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez may have died an innocent man.

The Massachusetts Appeals Court is likely to vacate Hernandez for the first-degree murder conviction of Odin Lloyd.


Massachusetts School of Law Dean and President Michael Coyne says it's because Hernandez died while he was in the middle of appealing his case.

"The key here is when a defendant is no longer able to assist with his appeal, the law says the conviction should be vacated...in a sense, it goes back to the point where he was only charged.”

Coyne says this is a law that is recognized on both the state and federal level.

The exact wording comes from a 1994 ruling by US District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock.

“The death of a defendant pending his appeal has consistently been held to abate the prosecution ab initio (from beginning to end).”

Coyne says that if Hernandez's case is vacated, it wouldn't be the first nor the most high-profiled in Massachusetts.

Former priest John Geoghan was vacated of his child molestation charges in 2003 after being killed in prison earlier that year.

Like Hernandez, Geoghan was in the middle of appealing his conviction, where more than 150 people had accused him of sexual abuse.

Massachusetts lawmakers have worked for years to close the loophole that allows the death of a prisoner to expunge their charges under appeal.

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