Deceased former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's 2013 murder conviction will stand, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court announced Wednesday. Lloyd played semi-pro football and Hernandez was convicted of his murder back in 2015. Two years later, he was acquitted of double-murder charges in a separate trial, but killed himself in his jail cell shortly thereafter.
The state's highest court in 2016 refused to change the legal rule in connection with another case, but the Hernandez prosecutors took up the cause.
Under the court's ruling, the Hernandez conviction will stand, with the court record noting that it was neither affirmed nor reversed because the defendant died while the appeal was pending.
"The practice of wiping out a jury verdict like it never occurred is not fair or equitable", Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III said previously while arguing the conviction should remain intact. His lawyers then filed for abatement ab initio to vacate the conviction because he died during the appeal.
Lloyd's family has sued Hernandez and his estate in civil court for wrongful death, seeking answers about their loved one's murder and damages. The prosecution then appealed, seeking to have the conviction reinstated.
John H. Thompson, the court-appointed appellate lawyer for Hernandez, had argued that the criminal justice system is concerned exclusively with the defendant, not victims, their relatives, or jurors.
"The current practice. does not consider the interest of the other parties who have an interest in the outcome, ' Quinn told the Boston Globe at the time".
"This decision has helped the family to obtain closure from the awful loss of their beloved son Odin", Attorney Doug Sheff said in a statement.
Roman Catholic priest John Geoghan, a key figure in the clergy sex abuse scandal that rocked the Boston archdiocese and spread across the globe, also had his child molestation conviction vacated after he was beaten to death in 2003 in his cell at the same MA maximum-security prison where Hernandez died.