Following the death of Aaron Hernandez via suicide two weeks ago, his attorneys are trying to get his previous conviction for the murder of Odin Lloyd overturned on a legal technicality.
According to Denise Lavoie of the Associated Press, prosecutors in the case are arguing that allowing such a ruling to vacate Hernandez’s conviction would serve as a reward for Hernandez’s “conscious, deliberate and voluntary” choice to end his life.
Hernandez’s conviction in Lloyd’s murder was under appeal when he was found dead in his jail cell two weeks ago. The legal principle in question in Massachusetts states that if a defendant dies while an appeal is being decided, the conviction is thrown out altogether. Prosecutors made the argument that the principle shouldn’t necessarily be binding when the death is premeditated and voluntary.
They also argued that such a ruling would ignore the “negligible probability for success” of Hernandez’s appeal.
However, Hernandez’s attorneys will be able to cite precedent where similar such circumstances led to a conviction being thrown out posthumously.