Aaron Hernadez’s suicide makes him legally innocent now.
I’m SO TIRED of the Aaron Hernandez posts from conspiracy theorists and armchair lawyers but……….this one actually checks out for the most part and it’s pretty fascinating.
Remember, the most recent case where Hernandez was found not guilty was not his only murder rap. In 2015, he had already been found guilty of murdering Odin Lloyd. This double homicide trial for the murders of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado had no bearing on the first one.
Our legal system was primarily based on the English legal system, and the Massachusetts law that covers abatement ab initio dates back to the Thirteen Colonies. Less than ten states still have abatement ab initio on the books, but Massachusetts is one of those states. “Ab initio” in Latin means “from the beginning” and the idea of the law is your legal status goes back to the beginning, as in before your trial, if you die during an appeal or before your legal status is finalized. Your case is not over just because you’re found guilty. It’s over once you’ve exhausted all of your appeals. A higher court always has the option of overturning a conviction. In Hernandez’s case, he died before a higher court has the opportunity to overturn or uphold his conviction, so therefore, his legal status goes back to the beginning. He’s innocent now.
Martin Healy, the chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Bar Association, explains that the state observes abatement ab initio, which in criminal proceedings is applied if a defendant dies before all of their appeals have been resolved.
Under abatement ab initio (the latter phrase meaning “from the beginning”), the defendant’s case returns to its initial phase and the slate is wiped clean.
“It’s as if the trial has never happened, and it’s as if the indictment has never happened,” says Healy, who is unconnected to the case.
So “under the eyes of the law, Hernandez has died an innocent man,” Healy continues. “He has not been convicted of any crime in Massachusetts.”
Abatement ab initio only makes its way into the press when a high profile criminal dies sometime before his legal status has been settled. The most familiar one to most of us would have been Ken Lay during the Enron scandal. He was found guilty and prosecutors were looking for Lay to pay back $44 million in restitution in addition to jail time. His conviction was erased when he died of a heart attack before sentencing because, just like with an appeal, his legal status hadn’t been finalized.
As for the Patriots’ contract, the family can now sue on the grounds that Hernandez was innocent and his contract shouldn’t have been nullified. The Patriots’ actually nixed that contract when Hernandez was indicted, so it’ll still take some legal maneuvering in court, but the conviction from Hernandez’s first trial can never be brought up in court ever again, not in a contract disupte or in a civil suit brought by the victim’s family. Any party going against Hernandez’s estate at this point has to start from scratch to prove his guilt all over again. It’s basically a retrial where the defense knows exactly what the prosecution will say and can build their strategy around that.
As for the meme, most of it is correct, but Hernandez was never entitled to that $15 million. It was a contract over the course of a few years and it wasn’t guaranteed. The family can sue for the remainder of the signing bonus though, which is still a few million dollars. Whether Hernandez knew all of this when he committed suicide is impossible for us to know, but I’m still pretty interested to see how it will play out.
A brief glance at the cartoon version of America makes you think the South is pretty racist. Look at them, with their Confederate flags and voter ID laws! But while you were sleeping, the blue states were up to some pretty racist shit too. It’s just that they’ve got better PR.
For example, one of the biggest and most violent anti-segregation fights in US history didn’t take place in 1950s Mississippi or Alabama, but 1970s Boston. The 70s! In Massachusetts! The land of Kennedys, Afflecks and liberal arts colleges was faced with the desegregation of schools and was like, “yo George Wallace, hold my beer!”
THIS WEEK: To discuss some of the secretly f#&*ed up modern history of the United States, Jack O'Brien and Michael Swaim are joined by the guys from ’The Dollop’: Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds. They discuss the Boston busing riots of the 70s, the comically-liberal blue state with secret ties to the KKK and why we’re about to live through the Enron crisis all over again.
The fury currently welling up against our demagogue president is a gorgeous thing. The Women’s March on Washington bowled me over by its sheer numbers. The town hall meetings calling Republican representatives to account are delicious payback for decades of phony populism. The combination of the two is one of the healthiest political developments I have seen in many years.
But opportunism never sleeps, and with the rage and the resistance of recent weeks some far less noble characters have seen a chance to develop a new con. They’re up on the resistance bandwagon right now, rending their garments, shaking their fists and praying that no one holds them responsible for the dead end into which they’ve steered us over the years. Inveighing loudly against Trump has become, for the people I am describing, a means of rescuing an ideology that has proven a disaster.
Comparing this moment with the Tea Party tells us a lot about this misdirection. In its 2009 heyday, the Tea Party represented a kind of superficial secession from the Republican party, which had discredited itself with the series of disasters we call the George W Bush presidency. Throw the old leaders out, the Tea Party seemed to demand, and start fresh.
But that’s not really what happened then, and it’s probably not going to happen with the hack politicians, million-dollar consultants and smug journalists who led Democrats to utter powerlessness this time around.
Yes, the Tea Party brought down many Republicans, but in truth it was a way of rebranding the same old Republican party without the stink of George W Bush attached. Conservative activists back then looked out over an economic disaster brought on by libertarian idealism – by a generation that worshiped bank deregulation – and insisted that what we needed was more deregulation, that we needed to go full-on free market. That’s the achievement of the Tea Party.
There is a possibility that the resistance to Trump will turn out the same way – that it will become a vehicle for our Enron Democrats to avoid accountability. “I don’t think people want a new direction,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in December. Now is not the moment for infighting, others have insisted, but for unity and togetherness. Unity behind the existing leadership, that is. Changing the personnel in the C-Suites will only weaken us, they will say; hell, we can’t even afford to see our leaders criticized.
Snapshots of reviews of “Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend”
A book in which a non-psychologist or psychiatrist equates antisocial, narcissistic, and borderline personality disorders with full on evilness and psychopathy. Using the story of her dead sister, who this author has labelled BPD and suggests that she is that way because of genetics, not because… Her sister was left at hospitals alone for long periods of time during her youth.
Note the first review. I want to vomit. This woman works in mental health and has that view of BPD… And this unqualified bitch goes and writes a nonsense book with no actual evidence and a when lotta bullshit (seriously, go read some negative reviews, they tear it apart) and cements this idea in her mind.
A veteran federal prosecutor recruited onto special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is known for a skill that may come in handy in the investigation of potential ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign team: persuading witnesses to turn on friends, colleagues and superiors.
Andrew Weissmann, who headed the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal fraud section before joining Mueller’s team last month, is best known for two assignments - the investigation of now-defunct energy company Enron and organized crime cases in Brooklyn, New York - that depended heavily on gaining witness cooperation.
Securing the cooperation of people close to Trump, many of whom have been retaining their own lawyers, could be important for Mueller, who was named by the Justice Department as special counsel on May 17 and is investigating, among other issues, whether Trump himself has sought to obstruct justice. Trump has denied allegations of both collusion and obstruction.
Hey, you know what, Lemony? I’m getting tired of owning this rare, priceless Bombinating Beast. Would you mind holding it for a second while I contact a Nigerian prince about getting some money for herbal remedies? Perhaps you can check out my boat, the Ponzi, while you wait. Take good care of lil’ Enron!
Ellington Feint, “Who Could That Be At This Hour?”
- Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room - the Squid and the Whale - disc one of the Criterion Collection release of Che - Kn0wing (starring Nicolas Cage) - Memento - disc three of what is apparently a three-disc blu-ray of Blade Runner, featuring the U.S. theatrical release, the international theatrical release, and the director’s cut - Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel
Mueller has assembled a high-powered team of top investigators and leading experts, including seasoned attorneys who’ve represented major American companies in court and who have worked on cases ranging from Watergate to the Enron fraud scandal.
The special counsel’s investigators are looking into questions of Russian interference in last year’s election, and plan to speak to senior intelligence officials, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.
Mueller is also investigating whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
The Post reported that the interviews represent a widening of the probe to include looking into whether the President obstructed justice in suggesting to his former FBI Director James Comey that Comey drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, as well as for his firing of Comey.
Mueller’s investigators have asked for information and will talk to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers, according to a source, who said they have also sought information from recently retired NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett. Coats and Rogers have testified that they were not pressured by the Trump administration.
The interviews are some of the first indications of the efforts of Mueller’s newly assembled team.
Ultimately, it would be up to Mueller to decide whether there is enough evidence to recommend pursuing charges on any part of the investigation.
Law enforcement sources tell CNN that the special counsel is gathering information and considering whether there is evidence to launch a full-scale obstruction investigation.
Trump, however, referred to the Post’s reporting as a “phony” story in a tweet Thursday.
“George Clooney married Amal Alamuddin this year, Amal is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an advisor to Kofi Annan regarding Syria and was selected for a three person U.N. commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza Strip. So tonight her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award.” - Tina Fey