Judge agrees to toss Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction

Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez

Hernandez's appellate attorney, John Thompson, told reporters he believes it's still uncertain as to whether Hernandez took his own life. "You can't just snap your fingers and say he wasn't convicted, and an antiquated, medieval doctrine shouldn't change that".

Hernandez's lawyers also said the some of the documents submitted by the state, including the death certificate and a suicide note to his fiancee, are irrelevant and asked that they be stricken.

MA law includes a long-standing legal principle that has courts traditionally vacate the convictions of defendants who die before their appeals are given. Boston attorney Brian Haney believes his family could make a legal case for that money (the entire $15 million is unlikely), though it would ultimately be up to a judge.

Lloyds mother fought back tears after the ruling Tuesday, saying the former New England Patriots tight end would always be guilty in the eyes of her family. Because he died before exhausting all of his appeals, his conviction has been vacated. He was serving a life sentence in Lloyd's murder.

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"In our book, he's guilty and he's going to always be guilty", Ursula Ward said of Hernandez.

Summary: With former National Football League star Aaron Hernandez no longer able to appeal his conviction, MA law dictates that convictions can be nullified.

She said it is unclear why Hernandez killed himself and that a recently released correction department report provides no clear evidence of his motive.

But prosecutors argued that abating Hernandez's conviction would "reward the defendant's conscious, deliberate and voluntary act" of killing himself and that the abatement rule has no solid historical or legal basis.

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The Latest on defense attorneys efforts to erase Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction following his death (all times local): 11:30 a.m.

Massachusetts Judge Susan Garsch agreed Tuesday to vacate his 2015 conviction because Hernandez died before his appeal could be heard. She also said a "possible mental disturbance" was reflected in a suicide note to his fiancee in which he said his death was "the Supremes, the almightys plan, not mine".

In her decision, Garsh dismissed the prosecutor's argument that the conviction against Hernandez should stand because the former tight end knew his suicide would lead to his conviction being vacated.

MA law says murder convictions are abated, effectively erased, after an inmate's death if the inmate's appeals options have not been exhausted.

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Prosecutor Patrick Bomberg had argued that Hernandez "should not be able to accomplish in death what he could not accomplish in life".

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