Aaron Hernandez case sparks bill to keep crime convictions intact

Aaron Hernandez
FILE - In this Friday, April 14, 2017, file photo, Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez turns to look toward his fiancee Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez as he reacts to his double murder acquittal at Suffolk Superior Court in Boston. Hernandez’s family is planning a private funeral for the former NFL star in his hometown in Bristol, Conn. A spokeswoman for the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association said Saturday, April 22, that the service is set for Monday, April 24. The former New England Patriots tight end was found hanged in his cell in a maximum-security prison in Massachusetts early Wednesday, April 19. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, Pool, File)

BOSTON (AP) — The dismissal of Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction after the former NFL star took his life in prison has renewed calls to change a longstanding legal tradition in Massachusetts.

On Monday, lawmakers will hear testimony on a bill that would keep intact criminal convictions of people who die before their appeals are heard. That would eliminate the current legal doctrine cited by a judge last month in vacating Hernandez’s conviction in the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player.

The bill was filed on behalf of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan well before Hernandez’s death.

If passed, it would only affect future cases and have no impact on the Hernandez ruling.

Hernandez took his life after his acquittal in two other slayings but remained in prison for Lloyd’s death.

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