Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Under the doctrine of "abatement ab initio," a defendant who dies after the jury convicted him but before the judge sentences him "stands as if he never had been indicted or convicted" in the first place. See United States v. Logal, 106 F.3d 1547, 1552 (11th Cir. 1997) (citations omitted). ["Stands?!" -- sorry, unfortunate choice of words was in the original.] There won't even be any criminal restitution against him. It's one of those venerable common law principles found nowhere in any statute, but recognized by the United States Supreme Court as early as 1884. See Ex Parte Schreiber, 110 U.S. 76.