BOSTON (WPRI) — The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that Aaron Hernandez’s conviction in the 2013 murder of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd will stand.
A judge in 2017 threw out Hernandez’s conviction, citing the legal principle that holds that a defendant convicted at trial who dies before an appeal is heard should no longer be considered guilty in the eyes of the law, thereby returning the case to its pretrial status.
The former New England Patriots star was found guilty in 2015 of killing Lloyd. Two years later and days after being acquitted of most charges in a separate double-murder case, the 27-year-old was found dead in his prison cell. The death was ruled suicide.
Bristol County District Attorney Thomas. M. Quinn III – who had challenged the lower court’s ruling – applauded the decision Wednesday, saying “We are pleased justice is served in this case, the antiquated practice of vacating a valid conviction is being eliminated and the victim’s family can get the closure they deserve.”
Linda and John Thompson, lawyers for Aaron Hernandez, said in a statement they were disappointed with the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision.
“We think the Court departed from its usual standards in coming to this decision, and intend to seek reconsideration of that aspect of its decision that applies to its newly minted law to Mr. Hernandez’s case.”