While the court of public opinion will likely never change, a legal principle called “abatement ab initio” in Massachusetts law could make deceased Florida Gators and New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez an innocent man.
Chief legal counsel to the Massachusetts Bar Association Martin W. Healy told the Boston Globe on Wednesday that even though Hernandez was convicted in 2015 of murdering Odin L. Lloyd because the ex-tight end’s appeal was not complete, his case could revert to “the beginning”, which is what “abatement ab initio” means in Latin.
“Unfortunately, in the Odin Lloyd matter, for the family, there won’t be any real closure,” said Healy. “Aaron Hernandez will go to his death an innocent man.”
Healy also said that the principle originated from English common law and is observed in several of the oldest states in America. The Boston Globe cited a few other instances where this practice has occurred over the last couple decades, but for the most part, it’s rarely used.
Healy told the paper that he “would not be surprised if a lawmaker again introduced legislation in Massachusetts to change the law” in light of the Hernandez suicide.