Judge Vacates Aaron Hernandez’s Murder Conviction

Judge E. Susan Garsh ruled Tuesday (May 9) to vacate Aaron Hernandez’s 2013 murder conviction because he died before his appeal could be heard. Due to a “binding precedent” Garsh said a legal doctrine calls for erasing convictions when the defendant dies. Yet despite the ruling, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III plans to appeal and even take it to the Massachusetts Supreme Court.

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“Despite the tragic ending to Aaron Hernandez’s life, he should not reap the legal benefits of an antiquated rule,” Quinn said. “State and federal courts from across the country have rejected this antiquated rule. Massachusetts, in my opinion, needs to follow suit.”

A lawyer for Hernandez’s estate asked the judge to overturn the rule after the former New England Patriot committed suicided last month while serving his life sentence for killing Odin Lloyd. Ursula Lloyd, Lloyd’s mother said despite the judge’s ruling, it won’t change how she views Hernandez.

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“In our book, he’s guilty and he’s going to always be guilty,” Ward said of Hernandez. “But I know, I know one day I’m going to see my son, and that’s the victory that I have and I am going to take with me. I am waiting for my master to say, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant, and welcome to the joys of my kingdom.’ And that’s when I’ll see my baby again. …”