Update: According to ABC News, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III said that he plans to appeal the abatement ruling and is willing to take the case to the Massachusetts Supreme Court.
“Despite the tragic ending to Aaron Hernandez’s life, he should not reap the legal benefits of an antiquated rule,” Quinn said on Tuesday, May 9. “State and federal courts from across the country have rejected this antiquated rule. Massachusetts, in my opinion, needs to follow suit.”
Original story continues below
Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction was thrown out by a Massachusetts judge on Tuesday, May 9, three weeks after the late NFL player’s death.
Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the June 2013 murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd after being convicted of first-degree murder in 2015. 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.
“Abatement has been practiced in federal and state courts for more than a century,” Judge E. Susan Garsh said on Tuesday, according to NBC. “This court cannot know why Aaron Hernandez chose to end his life… a tragic act that may have complex and myriad causes.”
Additionally, Garsh claimed that there is no proof Hernandez knew that his death could lead to his conviction being dismissed.
As previously reported, Hernandez was found dead at the age of 27 at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, on April 19. His death was ruled a suicide and investigators found three handwritten notes next to a Bible in his cell.