Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez's conviction in a 2013 murder can be erased because he died before his appeal was heard, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Judge E. Susan Garsh said a legal doctrine that calls for vacating convictions when a defendant dies before an appeal can be heard was binding precedent. She said she was compelled to follow it.
The former New England Patriots tight end hanged himself in his prison cell last month while serving a life sentence in the killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd.
Prosecutor Patrick Bomberg had argued that Hernandez “should not be able to accomplish in death what he could not accomplish in life.”