By Ryan Velez
In the past, we’ve reported on Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction, not just for the crime itself, but for the complex financial consequences that come with an NFL player being imprisoned during his contract. Now, Celebrity Net Worth reports that following his suicide, the conviction has been officially dismissed. This is due to the fact that his suicide occurred while the conviction was under appeal, and therefore, had not been finalized.
The first, and major consequence of the conviction being dismissed is for the New England Patriots NFL team. We had mentioned in the past that the team may still have had to pay the estimated $6 million Hernandez had remaining on his contract to his family, and per this decision, this will likely come to pass. The $6 million would then be up for grabs in any civil liability decisions against Hernandez in the future. The one potential roadblock here is that Bristol County D.A.’s Office made an announcement that they plan to appeal the judge’s decision shortly before the dismissal was revealed. As a result, this may not be the last thing we hear regarding that $6 million.
The prosecution repeatedly argued against the abatement ab initio dismissal of Hernandez’s murder conviction following the suicide. Their arguments were based on the fact that Hernandez was well aware of how the law worked. On the grounds that they believed he killed himself purposely so that the Patriots would have to pay his family, they felt that the dismissal should not be allowed. As part of the evidence, they used his suicide note to fiancé Shayanna Jenkins. Despite the feelings from the prosecution that he “shouldn’t be rewarded by killing himself to escape justice,” the judge still moved to erase the conviction under the law.
An important thing to mention is that while the criminal conviction is erased, this doesn’t affect any potential civil cases that can spring up from Hernandez’s crimes. In the past, family members of those killed by Hernandez have expressed a desire to pursue legal action, even after Hernandez’s own death. Whether it is a matter of financial compensation for their loss, or a desire to see their loved ones’ find as much justice as possible, chances are that we will see this case continue to wind on for quite some time.