Former New England Patriots tight end, Aaron Hernandez was convicted of killing Odin Lloyd in 2013. That's a fact. But his apparent suicide may void that conviction because of an obscure law in Massachusetts, that says Hernandez technically died an innocent man.

People magazine says the law is called the doctrine of abatement ab initio, which has it's roots in common law brought over from England. In short, it's a way for defendants to protect themselves, even after death, so they won't be unfairly tarnished by their conviction that they would have continued to fight on appeal, had they lived.

There's a lot of controversy around using the doctrine of abatement ab initio. And lawyers will argue it shouldn't be used in this case. But if it is...the civil case that Lloyd's family has filed against Hernandez could get thrown out, and they would get nothing from the Hernandez estate.

Meanwhile, others say the Patriots may be on the hook to the former players family the rest of his contract, which would equate to millions of dollars. Reports have already surfaced that Lloyd's family is looking into that option.