Linda Kenney Baden, one of the attorneys who helped late New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez win an acquittal in a double murder trial, ripped the new court ruling that reinstated the conviction from a previous murder case. She said that the decision only harms the defendant’s daughter.
“Right now, I’m feeling that there is no fairness in Massachusetts,” she said on the Law & Crime Network on Wednesday. “Really. It really is horrible.”
Hernandez was convicted in 2015 for the murder of Odin Lloyd, but he died of an apparent suicide in the middle of the appeals process, so the guilty verdict was vacated. It’s part of an obscure doctrine called abatement ab initio. The victim’s mother Ursula Ward gave a tearful response in 2017 when a court vacated Hernandez’s conviction.
“In our book, he’s guilty, and he’s going to always be guilty,” Ward said. “But I know one day I’m going to see my son, and that’s a victory that I have, that I’m going to take with me.”
Ursula Ward, mother of late Odin Lloyd, speaks after Aaron Hernandez’s 2013 murder conviction was thrown out by a judge. pic.twitter.com/TzHCrM8kX6
— Young-Jin Kim NBC10 Boston (@YKimNBCBoston) May 9, 2017
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has now ruled that abatement ab initio has nothing to do with modern society, and that the defendant’s appeal was a moot point because of his passing.
Hernandez died by suicide in 2017 shortly after his acquittal in the 2012 double murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safir Furtado. Kenney Baden showed a letter that she said Hernandez wrote to her before his death. She declined to reveal the contents because it was very personal, but explained that this was the first time she publicly mentioned it.
The attorney said that the court changed years of precedent, and risked harming wrongfully convicted defendants in the future. Kenney Baden argued that only the high-profile nature of Hernandez’s case led to this development.
“For what purpose?” she said. “None.”
[Screengrab via CBS]