Aaron Hernandez’s suicide in his jail cell this morning was so unexpected, many are scratching their heads wondering what could possibly be the motive.
A technicality within the legal system may just provide the only reasonable explanation for why Hernandez would take his own life following an acquittal of his double murder and a subsequent appeal of his initial murder conviction.
Hernandez hung himself soon after he and lawyer Jose Baez appealed the murder of Odin Lloyd, which the former Patriots TE was serving a life sentence for. In killing himself after it was appealed and before a ruling came down from the judge on whether to accept or decline that appeal, the suicide vacates the original conviction.
Hernandez suicide while Lloyd case on appeal vacates conviction for Lloyd’s death. Not a convicted murderer in death. Odd twist.
— MichaelCoyne (@DeanCoyne) April 19, 2017
That’s right, per US v. Sheehan (D.Mass. 1994), Hernandez will technically die not a murderer.
Beyond clearing his name, Hernandez’s family may now be entitled to the millions owed to the tight end, which was voided by the murder conviction. But with no conviction, the loophole may entitle the Patriots to pay out.