It has been nearly three weeks since former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in his jail cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts. Following his shocking death, Hernandez’s attorneys headed back to court in an effort to erase his conviction in the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.
Although Hernandez had been serving a life sentence for the murder of Lloyd, the case was in the appeal process when he took his own life. Due to a Massachusetts state law, Hernandez was “innocent” following his death.
After taking a brief recess during the May 9 hearing, Judge Garsh ruled that Hernandez’s conviction no longer stands.
“The longstanding rule is…abating the entire prosecution as if it never happened. This court is compelled to follow binding precedent,” Judge Garsh said before delivering her verdict.
Upon hearing said verdict, Odin Lloyd’s family began crying.
“In this circumstance a balance must be struck between the policy interests advanced by abatement, the effect of the defendant’s actions in frustrating the interests of justice and the interests in maintaining the validity of the conviction,” Bristol prosecutor Patrick Bomberg wrote in a filing last week, according to the Boston Herald. The prosecution argued that any person allowed to die “innocent” by taking [his] own life while a case is in the appeal process, “has the reins of the entire justice system in his own hands.”