DA: Suicide reason not to vacate Hernandez
The district attorney who successfully prosecuted Aaron Hernandez for a 2013 murder is arguing the former Patriot’s choice to commit suicide should nullify any attempt to vacate his conviction.
“It is in the interest of justice that this defendant not be allowed to avoid a conviction for the murder of Odin Lloyd by deliberately, consciously and voluntarily taking his own life,” Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s office said in a 28-page opposition to a motion filed by Hernandez’s lawyers seeking to have his conviction for Lloyd’s murder vacated.
The court has scheduled a hearing for May 9.
Hernandez’s appellate attorney Linda Thompson told the Herald last week she is prepared for a fight.
It is the state Supreme Judicial Court’s longheld practice to nullify the convictions of defendants who die before their appeals are exhausted.
When the SJC vacated the double-homicide, rape and kidnapping convictions of Brockton neo-Nazi Keith M. Luke in July following his jailhouse suicide, the justices told Plymouth County prosecutors opposed to abatement, “It is not the practice of this court to allow a conviction to stand when a defendant dies during the pendency of his direct appeal from a conviction.”
Hernandez, 27, was found hanged in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley on April 19, five days after he was acquitted of the 2012 murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston’s South End.
He took his life just four days after the second anniversary of his 2015 conviction for the Lloyd murder in North Attleboro for which he was sentenced to life with no chance of parole.