National Football League star Aaron Hernandez's murder sentence overturned after he killed himself

Judge Erases Murder Conviction from Aaron Hernandez's Record

Judge tosses Aaron Hernandez's conviction in 2013 murder

This ruling comes down after Hernandez's appellate attorneys made their request under a legal principle in MA which states that when defendants die before their direct appeal is decided, their convictions should be vacated.

Lawyers for Hernandez had argued that the state's highest court had applied the legal doctrine "without exception", even in cases of suicide.

A judge who agreed to erase Aaron Hernandez's conviction in a 2013 murder has said there may be "complex and myriad" reasons why the former National Football League star took his own life. Prosecutors argued during that hearing that Hernandez's conviction in a 2013 murder shouldn't be erased because he killed himself.

WBUR's Steve Brown reports that despite the ruling, Lloyd's mother, Ursula, said of Hernandez on Tuesday that "he's guilty and will always be guilty".

A MA judge on Tuesday overturned former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez's conviction for murdering an acquaintance in 2013, granting his attorneys' request since the athlete died before exhausting the appeal process. The motion was not a surprising one after the former New England Patriots tight end committed suicide in by hanging himself in his prison cell at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center last month.

After the judge's ruling, Lloyd's mother spoke to reporters.

Thompson says he has recent correspondence from Hernandez in which the former New England Patriots tight end said he was interested in pursuing an appeal.

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Additionally, Garsh claimed that there is no proof Hernandez knew that his death could lead to his conviction being dismissed.

Under Massachusetts state law, convicts who die before the completion of their appeal are often subsequently cleared of their original offence.

"This is an established common law doctrine", appellate attorney John Thompson argued.

"The defendant should not be able to accomplish in death what he could not accomplish in life", he added.

"The longstanding rule is...abating the entire prosecution as if it never happened", Garsh said.

Hernandez was found hanged in his cell April 19.

Five days before his death, Hernandez was acquitted of a double murder. He was cut from the team hours after his arrest in the killing of Lloyd. His attorneys made the request to dismiss the conviction under the principle of abatement, in which convictions are erased if the defendant dies before their appeal. "It involves just two questions - is there a pending direct appeal and has the appellant died during the course of the pending direct appeal?"

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